At the beginning of 2019, we were in an extended government shutdown, but that blip is now ancient history. Since then, so much has happened – much of it good, but some of it not so good. 5G became a commercial reality; IoT flourished, but both also managed to disappoint in some areas. In our messaging world, rich communication services (RCS) gained ground, but mobile operators lagged, despite many actions from Google. Still, gains were made in all of these key areas.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the record-breaking annual get-together of over 108,000 attendees in Barcelona, Spain, interested in mobile, 5G, connected cars, devices, augmented reality, virtual reality, cloud computing, IoT, and much, much more. As I do most years, I attended (I believe this might have been my ninth). MWC is the most important event for the mobile-focused industry. This year, the theme was “Mobile: The Next Element.”   The idea of this theme was to “reflect the elemental role of mobile in the lives of billions of people around the world.”  While I was quite busy with over 15 meetings and discussions in our massive (and popular) SAP stand, I was able to walk around occasionally during the 4 days to try to get a better understanding of this year’s major themes.

I published my first set of mobile predictions in January 2008. This is my tenth installment. My blog has had several iterations since it was initially part of the Sybase company blog space (we were known as Sybase 365, back then). When SAP acquired Sybase, most of my postings were migrated to the original SCN for Mobile area and now to the “new” SAP Community Network blogs. Some of the very old postings (before February 2011) are unfortunately no longer available in existing SAP archives.

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.

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.