George Eliot observed that "among all forms of error, prophesy is the most gratuitous." Yogi Berra is said to have said the same thing in less adorned language: "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." In this season of predictions, when pundits and experts peer into whatever serves as their personal crystal ball, you will be seeing all manner of more or less detailed descriptions of what to expect over the next 12 months. Last year's tech predictions looked a great deal like those from the year before… "like another round of rehashed mash-ups." We all know how worthless predictions can be, but they're kind of irresistible. Actually, predictions are stupid. They're a waste of time for the predictor and for the, uh, predictees who pay attention to them. They're almost impossible to quantify, rarely very specific ("Virtualization will be important!") and generally forgotten a few weeks after some pundit sprays them all over the Internet.
There have been tech predictions ("crazy" and otherwise) for telecom, mobile, enterprise, startup, the game industry, the cloud (including "Mobile, Social Networking, Big Data Drive IT Development, Investing in 2012"), smart grid, marketing, legal technology, and buzzwords. How about "4 Nearly Guaranteed 2012 Social Media Predictions," "5 Internet Marketing Predictions for 2012," "6 Predictions for Digital Business," "7 Gamification Predictions," "12 predictions for online video advertising" or "18 Insightful 2012 Marketing Predictions From the Experts." Don't forget prognostications for business-to-business, malware and cybercrime, data security, ad tech, API, social business, the job market, stock market, and web design. Check out travel, food trends, the economy, and the Oscars. Or CNBC's Good, Bad & Ugly Predictions 2012 or contributions from Business Insider, Information Week, Fast Company and ReadWriteWeb. Meanwhile, Marc Andreessen warrants his own category.
Doom and gloom plus bold and big is the general theme for this edition of … tech predictions. At the forefront: Apple Inc... still one of the most revered companies in America, and in the world. Since Steve Jobs has passed away there has been a bit less enthusiasm for the actual stock even if the world is addicted to buying the newest release of iPhones and iPads. Depending on who you ask, Apple shares will be cut in half from its 2011 high, which means the stock would tumble to $213.35 at some point in 2012, and an iPad tablet alternative will emerge out of the fragmented Android market. It'll also open up Siri, its sassy voice-controlled virtual assistant, to third-party developers [and lead to] another startup gold rush. [Either] Apple is planning 32 and 37-inch TV sets for launch in the US next year , which will usher in the era of Demand TV, or it won't. At any rate, Apple will be less abrasive in 2012. The company will back away from controversial, seemingly harsh moves, guided by the steady hand of Tim Cook.
Simultaneously, Google Plus is going to be a lot bigger by the end of 2012 than it already is or fails as a social network [and] become another feature of the Google suite of web products, rather than a killer social network which can rival Facebook's dominance. Mashable predicts in an embarrassing consequence for Google, the Amazon Appstore will become the biggest purveyor of Android tablet apps… an inevitable result from the Kindle Fire's unprecedented grab of market share, something no other Android tablet has been able to do. ReadWriteWeb thinks Amazon.com will launch a media-focused social network. Kind of like what MySpace used to be. It will be to a place for you to socialize around your reading, listening and viewing activities. Facebook [will buy] Digg and it's safe to say that Facebook's long-rumored IPO will be the biggest public offering of 2012.
Social and mobile gaming will get stronger. Now that Zynga and Nexon have both raised a billion dollars, they'll be able to use that money to accelerate acquisitions and expand their positions in the fastest-growing parts of the video game business. Leading utilities will begin deploying data analytics applications to gain insights from the rivers of data now arriving from smart meters and smart grid devices. Strictly by revenue, there's a good chance IBM may recapture the biggest annual revenue crown from Hewlett-Packard and smartphone sales will surpass PC and laptop sales in 2012, with more than 450 million units sold. And which consumer electronics are most likely to be returned in January? Answer: Motorola Atrix and BlackBerry Bold 990 [and] what consumer electronic product is most likely to go the way of the dinosaur? Blackberry Playbook, [according to] analysis of billions of online comments collected during the year.
That is, if we survive. The ancient Maya believed the Earth's final day will be December 21, 2012 with doomsday shelters [making] a comeback. Perhaps scarier, one psychic, who claims to "remember the future" by imagining himself "reading the headlines in the future"... had a "horrifying premonition" that "spandex will make a comeback near the end of 2012"--just in time for the end of the world.
10. Mark Mason, ITProportal.com
11. Will Garside, Channel Pro
17. Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute
21. Susan Payton, Small Business Trends
22. Andrew McAfee, HBR
30. Anant Jhingran, O'Reilly Radar
32. Alison Doyle, About.com
37. Kenneth Schortgen Jr., National Finance Examiner
38. Andy Tarnoff, OnMilwaukee.com
43. David Lavenda, Fast Company
45. Paul Sloan, CNET
47. 24/7 Wall Street
49. David Lavenda, Fast Company
50. Paul Sloan, CNET
52. Tim Bajarin, PCMag.com
58. Richard MacManus, ReadWriteWeb
59. Lance Ulanoff, Mashable
61. Dean Takahashi, VentureBeat
62. Chris King, Aol Energy
63. David Zielenziger, International Business Times
65. WiseWindow press release
68. Psychic Blair Robertson press release
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