10 Tech Industry Predictions That Will Shape 2011

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10 Tech Industry Predictions That Will Shape 2011

by Don Reisinger

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Verizon iPhone

Rumors of a Verizon iPhone have circulated since shortly after Apple released the iPhone exclusively for AT&T's network in early 2007. Yet, it's still not available on store shelves. But the chances of that changing in 2011 seem greater than ever. In fact, it's becoming increasingly likely with each passing day that at some point in early 2011 Apple will announce a retail partnership with Verizon.

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Googles Chrome Browser Joins the Enterprise

Google's Chrome browser is gaining serious market share in the consumer space, tallying nearly 10 percent share, according to HitsLink. That puts it far behind Internet Explorer, but in the coming year, that could change. Chrome is now more enterprise-friendly than ever. In 2011, more companies will realize that.

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Android Reigns Supreme

Google's Android platform is already a major winner. And in 2011, look for that success to continue. Google's platform will easily outsell RIM's BlackBerry OS, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 and Apple's iOS. It will also inch closer to having more market share than Symbian. Android's success will be a huge story in 2011.

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RIMs Continued Decline

In 2010, Research In Motion saw its influence in the mobile market decline as Android and iOS started steadily capturing market share. RIM won't succeed in reversing that trend in 2011, as the company doesn't seem to have the right product mix to appeal to consumers any longer. Speculation abounds that the enterprise will be looking elsewhere for mobile providers in the coming year. Simply put, RIM's influence could decline significantly in 2011.

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The iPad Stays in Control

A slew of tablets running Windows 7, Android and other operating systems will appear in 2011. But that doesn't mean they will be able to supplant the iPad. Apple's tablet delivers the best experience of any device either already in the market or soon to be arriving. And Apple will likely make it even more appealing with an update in early 2011. At this point, it doesn't seem that any device can take the iPad down.

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Apple Fixes Antenna Issues

When Apple released the iPhone 4 in 2010, the company's smartphone was criticized for losing signal strength when it was held in a "death grip." Apple responded by showing that its smartphone was just one of many devices that suffered from that problem. In 2011, expect Apple to find a fix that puts its device ahead of the competition once again.

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Windows 7 Corners the Enterprise

Amid all the concerns about Microsoft's business and its inability to adequately compete with Google online, the company had a successful year with its Windows 7 platform. However, it's still having some trouble bringing that operating system to the enterprise. In 2011, all that will change. Companies will trust that Windows 7 is a must-have, and they will realize that it's time to finally retire those outdated XP machines.

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Google Cements Its Dominant Position

If 2010 can be defined by anything, it's the meteoric rise in dominance that Google enjoyed. Aside from ruling the search and advertising markets, Google is now well on its way to dominating several different facets of the industry. Next year, expect Google to further bolster its dominant position in search and its broad business of delivering access to information in the cloud. The company simply has too much influence (and strong strategies) to see its market ambitions fall short in 2011.

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Facebook Becomes a Major Google Threat

As successful as Google will be in 2011, it doesn't mean that the company won't face some competitive threats. In fact, it's quite likely that next year, Facebook will be the biggest issue standing in Google's way. Facebook is growing at a rapid rate with well over 500 million active users. It's simply the biggest online threat to Google, and that will be quite apparent next year.

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Windows Phone 7: A Snooze

After a long wait, Microsoft finally released Windows Phone 7 in 2010. Unfortunately for the company, the mobile operating system isn't performing as well as it would like. If the initial market reaction holds firm, it seems abundantly clear that 2011 will be another rough year for Windows Phone 7. Android and iOS will continue to lead the pack, while Microsoft's operating system will have trouble staying relevant.

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