We are inundated by the latest hype: Everyday, someone is launching a new wearable.  The Apple Watch sold out in its initial offering and of course, exceeded all expectations once again. Not to be outdone, Google is upgrading its own OS to create a better smartwatch that will rival the Apple Watch. In the automotive world, we are peppered by news stories about the “connected car” to the “fully autonomous self-driving car.”  That notwithstanding, we already enjoy many driving autonomous features such as adaptive cruise control, lane detection, and preventative braking. Already, Tesla is launching the first elements of its much anticipated “autopilot.”  Delphi recently completed a cross-country run of its self-driving technology and of course, Google thinks they can have an autonomous driving vehicle ready for the market in 5 years.

April 24th, 2015 ushers in a new era of the Apple Watch. As many others did, I watched with anticipation, the March 9th Spring-forward Apple announcement that included information about the Apple Watch. Apart from the availability and pricing, little new information was provided that we really didn’t already know. As I review a large number of tweets, opinions, and articles, the first results indicate a very mixed set of views (from extremely positive to extremely negative [“the iFlop”]).

Here we go once again: another 2015 prediction article.  This is my 8th annual predictions blog posting and I can say it never has been more difficult to prognosticate on where this industry is headed.  Mobile in the context of an operating environment has never been more important to consumers and businesses, worldwide. Today, if a business or enterprise does not include mobile engagement as a priority, then I believe they are behind before they even begin.

Apple is now rumored to be holding their next iPhone event on September 9th, 2014 in what is becoming one of the most anticipated events in the mobile industry. While Apple rarely, if ever, foretells what will be coming, it is various players in the mobile industry (myself included) that forever speculate as to what this feature or that will mean when Apple finally announces it.  Whether the event is for iPad or iPhone, I would say that these are some of the most watched live-blogs (each of us have our favorites). I guess I am joining this speculation din with this blog posting!

Welcome to 2014!  Before I embark on my 7th consecutive year of mobile industry predictions, let’s wrap up 2013 with a review of last year’s predictions.  Overall, it has been another exciting, challenging, but overall profitable year for the mobile industry.  We saw some rises and falls, new iPads, a new iPhone, new Samsung devices, new mobile OS’s, consolidations, acquisitions, as well as a myriad of new products and innovations.

You can’t deny that this industry is evolving and changing – almost on a daily basis.   From new apps to new devices and new networks as well as increasingly social networks, we should expect increased competition, as well as increasingly disruptive technologies to permeate the industry.   In the coming days, SAP Mobile Services will be offering a new guide for the modern service provider — one that will outline the opportunities and detail many solutions that exist in this exciting and diverse market.  

For the sixth consecutive year, I am happy and honored to offer my 2013 mobile industry predictions, along with a review of how well I did for 2012.  This year has been another banner year for mobile: Everything from Apple news to networks (LTE deployments and RCS as well) to mobile commerce.  Today, an ever-increasing number of subscribers are using smartphones and that is a growing, worldwide phenomenon.  In fact, in many markets, smartphone penetration has exceeded 50% and continues to grow.

No, this won’t be a 2012 type prediction of Armageddon! But the mobile industry has begun the inevitable and likely irrevocable evolution towards an all IP ecosystem. This also means that services – basic services such as voice and messaging have already begun to go IP – or “over-the-top” (OTT) ahead of equivalent offerings from the network providers themselves.

… to read the various headlines such as from BBC, or FierceContent, (and quite a few more — not all of them, mind you, but quite a few) you might get the idea that here is something that will be the true “SMS killer.”  Notwithstanding the over-imaginative headlines, I think Facebook Messenger is nothing more than an expansion of the popular online-based Facebook “chat” service.  I would suspect that this is more of a threat to various Instant Messaging (IM) services than it is to SMS.   The problem with IM is that the various communities have never really been interoperable with one another (which makes for good business for products such as Trillian by Cerulean Studios – users may sign into multiple IM communities using a single client or app).