Almost time for Google I/O 2014

The two day event starts later today at 5pm BST with the Conference Keynote and you can follow much of it live.

Possible features of the event commentators think might be:

  • Wearables
  • Glass
  • The Internet of Things
  • Updated Nexus tablet(s)
  • Android TV
  • Updated Android operating system release – what follows Kit Kat ? an unsponsored L with Lollipop favoured over Latte or Liquorice!
  • The Cloud
  • Apps, apps & more apps

Here’s an explanation of “the experiment”  by Ben Purdy  and we’ll leave you with his video.



Watch out for Wearables

Canalys see the “smart” sector of the wearable bands market growing as follows:

  • 2013 actual 1.8 million
  • 2014 forecast 8 million
  • 2015 forecast 23 million
  • 2017 forecast 45 million

The smart sector is where currently Samsung lead the way with their Galaxy Gear achieving 54.2% (that’s about 870k units) in the second half of 2013. Sony & Pebble are quite a way behind with 18.6% (300k units ish) and 16.2% (260k units ish).

The total market Canalys predict as being about 17 million this year.

Fitness bands dominate their basic segment with Fitbit leading the way.

Apple are likely to enter the fray this year with their iWatch and “Canalys expects Android to enter the smart band market soon in a meaningful way.” indicates their analyst Daniel Matte.

Next/Market Insights predicted in the second half of last year a total smartwatch market of over 300 million by 2019.

We think that they are nearer the mark and that the likely growth of the market will be phenomenal.

Apple iDevices (that’s iPods iPhones and iPads) have all sold over 50 million devices in a calendar year with the iPhone reaching over 150 million in 2013. The iPad in its 3rd calendar year sold over 25 million and last year was up at over 74 million.

So if Apple are serious, as we’re sure they are, and Google/android  continue to challenge them we think the 100 million level could be reached in the next 2 -3 years.

We shall wait and watch!

2014 and all that …

We’ve found the corporate crystal ball, dusted it off, spent the first few days of the year peering into its fathomless interior and have come up with the following:

  1. Tablet unit shipments/sales, having drawn level with PCs in the final quarter of 2013, will on an annual basis overtake them in the year as a whole achieving around 300 million shipments including the white box variety which will flourish.
  2. Nominet will launch their .uk domain release in the summer. It will prove a remarkable success with millions of the new shorter, slicker and simpler domains being taken up by existing registrants in the first quarter of their availability.
  3. The new ICANN  gTLD’s will continue to proliferate but initial unit sales will prove to be disappointing.
  4. Internet Retail Sales will continue to grow apace reaching over 11% of all retail during the year. The Office for National Statistics will introduce an improved analysis of these sales in the second half of the year.
  5. As previously predicted Apple will launch their iWatch before mid year and their iTV (with a different name) in the fall. Apple will make a major acquisition in connection with it’s 2014 product releases.
  6. Apple’s share price will remain in the $500-$650 range in spite of a return to some revenue growth.
  7. Sky will introduce another named streaming service to compliment Sky Go and Now but it won’t be called Start!
  8. The rise & rise of Amazon will continue but Jeff Bezos will not buy another main stream media publication although his wife may release another book!
  9. StrengthsFinder 2.0 will remain in the WSJ top ten hardback bestselling books for at least 50% of the year.
  10. Twitter will gain a lot of ground particularly on the advertising front. Its share price will jut rise and rise!
  11. Native advertising will gain many converts and hence will proliferate accordingly..
  12. CES and LeWeb will both spring major surprises.
  13. UK overall rainfall will be above the 1981-2010 average of just over 1.15 metres but we will have a brilliant early summer!
  14. We will win one of the home cricket test series this summer and a new captain of one of our teams will be announced.

We will in about 360 days review our predictions and invest in an improved crystal ball if necessary for 2015.  

It’s nearly Time for Smartwatches

Canalys have just started forecasting shipment estimates for smartwatches and it looks as if its going to be another explosive market.

They estimate shipments as follows:

  • 2012 –    330,000
  • 2013 –    500,000+
  • 2014  - 5,000,000+

They also estimate that the traditional watches market in 2012 was over a billion in shipment/sales terms.

“Canalys defines smart watches as smart wearable bands. Smart wearable bands are multi-purpose devices that can run third-party computing applications and are designed to be worn on the body, and not carried.”

Wikipedia expands on the subject.

Sony & Motorola were the early leaders but this year the remarkable Pebble  having raised ove $10 million on Kickstarter will join them and per their blog have already shipped over 93,000 watches since the beginning of the year. In addition they have according to some  obtained preorders for a further 190,000. BestBuy in the US are starting to stock them and a rather thoughtful article on what they are and what they are not from Forbes is well worth reading.

It looks as if most of  the consumer electronics majors (eg Samsung, Apple and Google) will enter the fray.

Style, some say, will be a key feature so arguably Apple may yet again be a market leader although it is rumoured that their product iWatch (?) may not arrive until 2014.  

The Pebble at $150 looks a bit utilitarian to us but at this early stage is the market trailblazer. UK retail availability looks minimalist on an initial trwl with a supplier offering an orange version at £250!

We’ll leave you with Pebble’s video.