Welcome to the rest of the year!
Hope you enjoyed a slow, relaxing August, and long labour day weekend. Now it’s time to get back to business.
The fourth quarter is just around the corner, and we expect the rest of the year to be jam-packed with important story lines that shape the technology landscape for years to come.
Apple has had the tablet market to itself so far this year. Supposedly, Microsoft is working on getting tablets out there. Also, Android tablets are supposed to be all over the market in a few weeks. Will the Android tablets or Windows tablets have any affect on iPad sales? Or will this be iPhone redux, where Apple owns the market for two years as rivals try to catch up?
Our guess: Apple owns the tablet market for 2010, but credible rivals start popping up in Q1 2011.
Google is working on another social network of some sort, reportedly named 'Google Me.' It's also working on a social gaming network. Will Google finally get it right with social networks? Or is it going to flop AGAIN? And if it flops, where does that leave Google? Facebook is still growing, and it's ready to eat at Google's core business. Meanwhile, Google's stock is flagging, as investors come to terms with the fact that Google isn't finding a second massive business.
Our guess: Google Me is a flop, but social gaming in Android works.
Microsoft is preparing to re-enter the smartphone market. Windows Phone 7 is the companies complete reboot, and it will be in the market place for the holiday season. Early reviews of the OS are positive, but none say it's better than Android or the iPhone. Microsoft will spend like crazy marketing these phones, so we wouldn't write it off its chances for success.
Our guess: Windows Phone 7 isn't a flop. It sells decently, but doesn't blow the doors off.
Google and Apple are attacking the TV market. Google will try to turn your TV into a computer, adding a comprehensive layer of the web to your TV. Apple is more subtle, just adding iTunes rentals and Netflix. Who will win? Either company? Even Steve Jobs has admitted that most people don't want another box in their life.
Our guess: Both are small businesses, but Google TV sells better than Apple TV.
HP's board kicked out CEO Mark Hurd because he falsified expense reports, and because it seems nobody at HP liked Hurd. It was a risky move from the board because Hurd had delivered consistent returns for shareholders. Now the board has to find someone new to deliver results. Who will it be?
Our guess: We'll stick with our first guess -- EVP of PCs and mobile, Todd Bradley takes over.
Demand Media, the McContent company that relies on Google traffic, is IPOing this fall. The company has plenty of sceptics, so it will be interesting to see how the IPO is received.
Our guess: It does just fine, but then the stock falls a bit in the months to follow. Sort of like Tesla.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong lost credibility with his most recent crappy quarter. Can he deliver a decent quarter before the year is out? Can he actually show some progress with AOL? Or is it a completely lost cause?
Our guess: AOL has another crappy quarter.
This is a perennial tech story to watch, but this year is supposed to be different. Multiple reports say iPhone on Verizon is happening in Q1 2011. If that's the case, will Apple announce iPhone to Verizon before the holiday shopping season? If it doesn't, Verizon will sell a truckload of Android phones. If it does, maybe it can slow the astonishing growth of Android.
Our guess: Apple announces iPhone on Verizon at some special event this fall.
Research in Motion is in trouble. It hasn't produced a response to the iPhone or Android. Wall Street is giving up on the company. It will be releasing a tablet, the 'Black Pad,' this fall. Is there any reason to think RIMM will produce a good tablet? No. Is there any reason to think it can get back on track?
Our guess: RIM keeps sinking.
Facebook launched 'Places' a few weeks ago. Is anyone going to actually use it?
We aren't seeing many check-ins on our Facebook walls. If Facebook users do use Places, it could kill off Foursquare and develop into a nice business for Facebook.
Our guess: Foursquare will be fine, and Places will evolve into something different, more Yelp-like.