2005 was a milestone year for RIM, they passed the 6 million subscriber mark and have had huge mainstream success with their Blackberry devices. It has also been a good year for the wireless industry, carrier revenues are increasing thanks to all the value-added services like data plans and media content and we have also seen a great number of high bandwidth devices. 2006 should continue the trend and we have some predictions:
1. RIM will pass the 10 million subscriber mark thanks to key carrier signings in other countries and a new device that has more mass appeal.
2. Microsoft will continue to make inroads in the wireless industry with Windows Mobile 5.0. However their new push-email technology in Exchange SP2 will still lack behind RIM’s and it won’t make much of a splash.
3. Big things from Nokia regarding new devices geared towards the business crowd. They bought out Intellisync in 2005, so this is the year we will see what they plan on doing with their new acquisition.
4. EDGE and EVDO will become standard in most new cellular devices, while 3G continues to struggle. Also don’t expect for North American carriers to become more data friendly, expect the same price points for data plans and content.
5. WiMax what? Don’t expect anything big from WiMax in 2006, it will continue to struggle to find a place.
6. The death of PalmOS. Palm will continue to use the OS in their PDA devices but will shortly phase that out. However, regarding PalmOS and the Treo, expect that to be dead completely in the new year. Palm will continue to release new Treo devices powere by Windows Mobile in their new models, doesn’t make much sense for them to have Treo’s with different OS models.
7. Expect one of the smaller push email companies to be bought out, our bet is on Visto.
8. The saga between NTP and RIM will continue in 2006, no settlement will be made and they will continue to battle within the courts. This is our boldest prediction, many analysts are predicting or calling for a settlement but we can’t see it happening especially with NTP patents being voided by USPTO.
Feel free to add your own …