My Predictions for 2017

Publisher´┐Żs Outlook

My Predictions for 2017

By Rich Tehrani, Group Editor-in-Chief, TMC  |  March 08, 2017

2016 was a year of surprises. And there will most certainly be a lot more interesting things to come in 2017. Here are my thoughts on a few developments we’re likely to see in the year ahead.

  1. We will see major financial problems begin to take shape at hardware companies without a solid cloud strategy.
  2. Trump’s new offshore tax rules will bring a flood of cash to tech companies – much of this will be shared via dividends and buybacks, but it will also find its way into M&A as well as new product development.
  3. Smart factories with low-cost energy will make the U.S. a major force in manufacturing. But this prediction will take 10 years to play out, and thanks to IoT and robotics, the factory of tomorrow will need 1/10th the workers of today.
  4. Chinese cell phone provider Huawei (News - Alert) or Xiaomi will become a serious thorn in the side of Samsung – producing low-cost phones for hundreds less than the Korean maker, and selling them in large numbers outside China. Samsung will lose a lot of U.S. market share as a result.
  5. Google (News - Alert), buoyed by the success of its Pixel phone, will invest a lot more into hardware. We might not see that until 2018, but we’ll hear the rumors in the summer or fall of 2017.
  6. Foxconn will become even bigger as companies use it instead of directly moving manufacturing jobs overseas. It will provide a Trump-friendly way of getting around offshoring manufacturing.
  7. Energy prices in the U.S. will plummet, and green energy will go through a major trough of despair. This will present problems for Tesla.
  8. Toward the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, the 4K monitor will become a far more common fixture on desks.
  9. Goodbye net neutrality – we hardly knew you. Instead of forcing carriers to carry outside traffic at high priority for free, a Trump FCC will be more concerned about how many jobs will be created by the carriers that will promise jobs in return for gutting net neutrality.
  10. The AT&T/Time Warner acquisition will go through as the Trump administration gets Ma Bell to promise to keep jobs in the U.S. and/or add more.
  11. U.S. tech companies (among others) will be in the crosshairs of countries looking at the tariffs the U.S. imposes on its imports.
  12. The dollar will continue to strengthen, and interest rates will continue to rise.
  13. Apple will buy the Ring video doorbell, and my old pal Jamie Siminoff will launch yet another successful startup 12 to 18 months later.
  14. HD voice interop will get real, finally allowing users to make HD calls from one wireless carrier to just about any other.
  15. GSMA RCS will finally become a real thing in the U.S., allowing carriers to offer services like Facebook Messenger. But these communications service providers will have a tough time competing with Silicon Valley.
  16. NFV will become more popular in the U.S. – success stories will spread, and even more carriers will adopt it. Carriers will also realize they are going from hardware lock-in to software lock-in and now pay higher maintenance costs – perhaps as high as 25 percent.
  17. All carriers will be forced to purchase media companies to compete with AT&T and Verizon.
  18. Apple will make real progress with new iPads in the hopes of the new devices getting the tablet market to grow again
  19. Apple’s third-gen smart watch is the one you’ve been waiting for. It will likely become a must-have for serious wearable tech enthusiasts.
  20. Microsoft (News - Alert) will continue to out-cool Apple with more products like Surface Studio. It will release an amazing Surface Phone, but it will be really tough for Microsoft to gain traction against Android and Apple.
  21. Someone will acquire Twitter (News - Alert) as it continues to replace the news media, to enable unbiased communications between President Trump and the public.
  22. Obamacare will be replaced by a unique algorithm matching patients to doctors, just like TripAdvisor matches travelers to hotels.
  23. Self-driving everything will become a major cause of unemployment.
  24. The retail sector will spend billions to match Amazon’s worker-free store of the future.
  25. will become a major force competing with Amazon after Walmart makes major investments in the company, which it now owns.
  26. Someone (Apple, Google or Amazon) will one-up AT&T’s DirectTV Now with a service that includes DVR and works well. And millions will cancel cable as a result.
  27. Low-cost energy means the pressure on the tech industry to reduce energy consumption will be paused. This will hurt ARM but help Intel (News - Alert).
  28. Car keys will be replaced by phones with Bluetooth.
  29. The auto insurance industry will see reduced accidents thanks to self-driving/parking vehicles and will step in to incentivize consumers and businesses to buy vehicles with these features.
  30. The sharing economy will extend to spouses, allowing you to rent one temporarily and without the hassles of divorce and losing half your assets.
  31. The smart home will take shape, with new standards allowing cameras to interoperate with security, lighting, motion sensors, entertainment, music, etc.
  32. Hackers will hack a smart city, scaring the living daylights out of the global media and governments.
  33. The last remnants of privacy will go up in smoke as virtually all companies and government agencies get hacked.
  34. The encryption battle between Silicon Valley and the U.S. government will get far worse as more iPhones used by terrorists are deemed unbreakable by law enforcement.
  35. It will be discovered that some secure messaging apps are actually authored by government spy agencies.
  36. Italy and/or France will break away from the EU, sealing the fate of this failed union experiment.
  37. Two to five percent of our population will be lost to VR – like people are lost to drugs or alcohol. This number will grow by a few percent a year and max out when 15 to 20 percent of our population is unable to function outside of their VR cocoons.

Edited by Alicia Young
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