It’s that time of year again, when we dust off our crystal ball and make a series of predictions for the coming year. We also like to iron our reinforced pants around this time too, as last year’s predictions inevitably come around to bite us in the butt. And so we dive in for another year, with our top ten predictions for 2012. Feel free to leave your own predictions in comments!
1. Convertible tablets will swallow the laptop whole
Don’t get us wrong, there are some truly great products coming out in the notebook space. Ultrabooks have finally made laptops sexy again. But you know what’s sexier? A device that gives you the best of both worlds.
Convertible tablets like the Asus Transformer are a tablet when you’re walking around and a laptop when you’re at home. In 2012, we’ll likely see products with big enough screens to truly replace the laptop.
2. Android takes over the world
Or close to it. This past year saw Android overtake every other mobile operating system in terms of units shipped, installed base and apps sold (and that’s even though the average Apple user buys roughly twice as many apps as an Android phone owner). It shows no signs of abating, either. In the third quarter of 2011, Android ran on 52.5%* of smartphones sold worldwide. Compare that to Apple’s iOS, which ran on 15%.
While most of Android’s success has come at the expense of Symbian and BlackBerry phones, even Apple has taken a hit. And none of that looks like turning around, with Android continuing to post growth every quarter.
Even on tablets, which people tend to buy outright rather than on contract, Android has gone from virtually nothing in 2010 to 27%^ in the course of a year.
While there’s still and will remain a vast hype gap between Apple and Google, it seems likely that by this time next year, Android will be perhaps the most important operating system in the world. Telstra certainly seems to think so.