OK, now that 2012 is here, time for a few predictions.
Windows Phone - Microsoft's mobile platform has, overall, been well-received. Its usage share is tiny at present, but given that Nokia is kicking Symbian to the kerb, and RIM seems to be in a death-spiral, I wouldn't be surprised to see Windows Phone being in, or at least close to, the #3 position in terms of smartphone handset sales by this time next year.
Xbox - Don't expect anything exciting here in terms of hardware. We might see a revamped console, but it will essentially be a cheaper reworking of the current hardware. My guess is that Microsoft will continue to push the Xbox as an entertainment hub (TV, streaming, etc) as opposed to a dedicated gaming device.
AppleiPhone - Will there be a new iPhone this year? More than likely, but beyond that I've no idea what the changes will be (other than more powerful hardware). My personal guess is that the new hardware will look different to the existing hardware, but I have nothing to base that on other than Apple likes to revamp the external appearance of a device every few years to prompt sales.
iPad - Expect new hardware. What? No idea, but I'm guessing that the improvements will be evolutionary rather than evolutionary. I don't expect the iPad 3 to look much different to the iPad 2 but the hardware (CPU and graphics) will get a boost. I'm also expecting storage to be bumped to 128GB. I'm still not sold on the idea of a 'retina display' screen
iOS - No idea what new stuff we'll see in iOS. Maybe more photo-based improvements, and possibly more social media integration (Facebook).
Apple TV - My prediction is that Apple WILL NOT release a TV during 2012. That's all I'm going to say about that.
AndroidIf you thought 2011 was a big year for Android, wait and see what 2012 brings. While Android certainly has issues that Google need to address, I expect this platform to go from strength to strength during 2012, especially on smartphones. As I've said before I won't be surprised to see Android hit 1 million activations per day during 2012.
PCsWindows 8 is still a ways off so OEMs are going to have to work hard to reinvigorate PC sales. I'm hearing all sorts of interesting whispers as to what's on the way from the various OEMs during 2012, but to be honest none of it sounds all that exciting. Most of what I've come across feels the OEMs are trying to clone Apple's success by cloning ideas ...
As I said earlier, I'm not sure what effect Windows 8 will have on PC sales. My prediction here is that OEMs are going to have a hard time convincing customers that they need Windows 8's touch-based improvements on a PC that's kitted out with a keyboard and mouse.
Tablets2012 is going to be the year of the iPad. I don't see Android changing that, and I don't see Windows 8 tablets changing that.
SmartphonesExpect more and more lawsuits and legal exchanges between the big players. Android and iOS will continue to dominate, but old players such as Symbian and BlackBerry will be sidelined by Windows Phone.
My misses of 2011!OK, your time to gloat at some of the predictions I made during 2011 that fell flat on their faces. Two stand out from the rest as being way off the mark!
- Mac malware - Yes, the Mac OS X platform was hit by a sizable malware attack, but within a few weeks it was gone. Panic over. While I still think that it's a good idea for Mac users to have security software installed on their systems, the whole Mac Defender thing was blown out of all proportions by pundits wanting to point fingers at mac users and yell 'I told you so!'
- Redesigned iPhone 5 - There might have lots of speculation and rumor that Apple was going to revamp the design of the new iPhone in 2011, and a case manufacturer was duped into making a ton of cases for a device that never appeared, but Apple didn't change the look of the iPhone 4S. But hey, 51% of Hardware 2.0 readers also expected Apple to come out with something completely new too!