2008 Predictions 4, 5 and 6

Continuing my Predictions for next year….

4. First Projection Phones Launched

2008 should see the first projection phones being launched, which will allow you to project whatever’s on your phone screen onto a nearby surface.

As well as being very cool, this is important for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, it might sound odd, but it’s going to be the death knell for the cheap to mid-range specialist projector market. While I doubt if the manufacturers are quaking in their boots, neither were low end camera manufacturers ten years ago – they’d have probably laughed at the suggestion that within a decade, Nokia would have been the largest seller of digital cameras in the world.

The other reason why it’s important is a much more strategic and revolutionary one. People who say that mobile will never overtake PCs in terms of digital dominance normally cite two reasons – screen size and data inputting (or typing). Projector phones do away with the screen size argument. So all we need is a keyboard (and there’s some very nifty, foldable ones these days) and tra la – the mobile has the same functionality as any PC.

Of course, the early projector phones probably won’t have a great picture and much work will need to be done to improve clarify, focus and definition. But it will be the shape of things to come.

And that means that the mobile will do to the desktop, what the PC did to the mainframe.

5. A Government Will Fall Because of Mobiles

Mobiles are simply the most powerful consciousness-raising and organisational political tool in history.

2008 will see another Government toppled by the people, who will organise their resistance primarily using their mobile phones.

My bet is Zimbabwe, but that’s not part of the prediction.

6. Explosion of Third Party IM

Raporo, Mxit, Mig33 – all highly successful, if slightly under the mainstream radar. They allow users to communicate in an IM-like experience at a fraction of the cost of sms or official operator IM tariffs. And when I say “highly successful”, combined they have a claimed usership in the tens of millions.

There’s a truism in mobile that users don’t like to download applications to their phones and these guys prove that this is not true. Most of the time people don’t download as they don’t understand the benefit – therefore, much of the problem is a marketing issue, as these IM players have proved.

This rapid growth to date is just about to explode in 2008.

As a Part B to this story, watch out for the first operator who tries to block their subscribers from using one of these services.

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