2009 tech predictions revisited: how did we do?

16th Dec 2009 | 10:30

2009 tech predictions revisited: how did we do?

We run the rule over our forecasts for the last 12 months

Android and Windows 7

After decorating the tree and cooking the sprouts, the favourite task of every TechRadar staffer this time each year is to make their predictions for the year after. But first comes the slightly more uncomfortable bit – looking back at the predictions for 2009 that we made this time last year. So let's see what gold we predicted – and what myrrh we didn't.

If there was one thing that really blew up this year, it was the smartphone market. "I'm hoping to see a real fight in the mobile phone space to deliver what mobile phone users actually want," wrote TechRadar's Mobile Specialist Gareth Beavis a year ago, predicting that Android would really take the fight to Apple, though it's been more steady rather than explosive growth. "Nokia has been decidedly lacklustre in the touchscreen market," said Gareth.

"The N97 will hopefully be the precursor to the proper iPhone beater, and the INQ1 Facebook phone should set a decent precedent for what low-end phone functionality should be about." Nokia's N900 has finally appeared and while it isn't quite an iPhone killer, it's certainly shows Nokia is finally heading in the right direction.

TechRadar's Editor (Features) Paul Douglas correctly predicted that the Windows 7 beta would appear at last year's CES. But he was slightly off with his prediction of when Windows 7 would finally appear - 30 January 2010, exactly three years to the day from the launch of Vista.

To be fair, he wasn't alone in his prediction which was backed up by Deputy Editor Dan Grabham who thought that the next version of Office would also be out on the same day. Office 2010 hasn't yet hit, though we took a decent look at it earlier this year.

3D and OLED

And then there's 3D. "I think 2009 is going to be a breakthrough year for 3D, at least in the sense of it building a head of steam as the next must-have tech upgrade," said Editor-in-Chief Nick Merritt. "The technology is closing in and it works: from Hollywood, with James Cameron blazing trails with Avatar and rapid installation of 3D in theatres."

That at least has happened. Indeed, TechRadar's Editor (News) Patrick Goss sums up many people's attitude to 3D, even if it has had success at the cinema. "Expect to see plenty of people publicly question if a tech that has been considered a gimmick since it hit cinemas more than 20 years ago has any real place in today's cinemas and living rooms."

Patrick correctly predicted a raft of 3D tech demos and 3D TV sets shown off during 2009. Sky has announced it will be launching a 3D channel during 2010.

News Writer Marc Chacksfield predicted that YouTube would cement its position as the online video destination by introducing much more feature-length content, with it and other movie-streaming sites making peer-to-peer sharing less important.

"There's been a plethora of illegitimate streaming movie sites pop up in 2008, which points to a move away from peer-to-peer for online pirates." While this hasn't quite happened, it's certainly been the case that official streaming services such as BBC iPlayer have gone from strength to strength and have also started streaming movies.

Reviews Editor James Rivington predicted what most of us were thinking – a boon in cheap imports caused by the credit crunch followed by OLED emerging onto the market at the high end. But aside from Sony's XEL-1, no other OLED sets are yet on sale in the UK. Can we expect this to change in 2010?

As James said last year, "Don't expect to see many of them anywhere other than in a John Lewis store window - the cheap mass-produced LCD panels are going to be the mainstay for a good while yet." That will still hold true for next year, so watch out for our 2010 predictions.


Liked this? Samsung: OLED notebooks by late 2010

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