Last year, I started this tradition of ringing in the new year by forecasting what I expected 2010 to hold for the iPhone and iPod. Overall, I think my predictions were fairly accurate, but with a couple of high-profile misses. Let's review:
What I Got Right
- The release of the iPad, 4th generation iPhone, 2nd generation Apple TV and new iPods. All kind of easy and obvious, but there we are.
- The iPad runs iOS
- Improved App Store review process
What I Got Wrong
- New iPhone carriers in the US
- iTunes-based TV subscription service
- iPhone moves to Verizon
- The end of the iPod Classic (I can't believe that thing is still kicking)
Not bad, all in all, especially since the additional carrier/Verizon predictions will probably come true in the next couple of weeks. And now, onto the next set of predictions and the likelihood of them happening (barring the obvious ones, like a second-generation iPad or iPhone 5):
Cloud-based iTunes streaming - 90%. Apple's got a gigantic new data center in North Carolina and has been buying web-based streaming companies like LaLa (and working to block a similar one, Spotify, from launching in the US). This one is a no brainer, I think. It's just a matter of when.
iOS Apps to Apple TV - 90%. Another one that looks like a no-brainer to me. I'm not sure it will open up for any app, but I suspect we'll see at least some targeted apps (Hulu, Major League Baseball, etc.).
End of iPod Classic - 90%. It's gotta happen some day, right? This could be the year that high-capacity solid-state storage gets to the right price to make this possible.
Music or Video Subscription service - 80%. I think the music subscription is more likely to happen, possibly combined with the cloud-based streaming service, since similar options exist through other companies. Video subscriptions would be terrific, but I suspect Hollywood and the cable companies will resist that.
iPhone Gets Third US Carrier - 15%. I guess it's possible, but I really doubt it. I don't imagine Verizon would carry the iPhone if another competitor could enter the market this year.
7-inch iPad Debuts - 2%. Rumors persist, but Steve Jobs seems to hate this idea.