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Predictions gone wrong: Losing bets analysts made for 2013

Lisa Schmeiser | Jan. 2, 2014
Analyst forecasts are meant to help IT prepare for the future. But the future doesn't always follow that script.

Prediction No. 3: Mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web-access device worldwide by 2013
What happened: Although the originator of this prediction, Gartner, didn't respond to inquiries, other firms have been tracking Web access and have shared their findings. In March 2013, Adobe released its analysis of Web traffic to more than 1,000 websites and found that 84 percent of all Web traffic came from users on desktop or laptop computers, 8 percent from tablet users, and 7 percent from smartphone users. StatCounter, which tracks visits to websites via ad network data, found that desktop usage still dominates, at 76.1 percent.

Prediction No. 4: Windows Mobile will claim 15 percent of the global smartphone market, second to the Symbian OS's 47 percent market share
What happened: Nokia got killed by iOS and Android, that's what happened. Since IHS iSuppli made this prediction in 2009, the once-dominant force in the mobile phone market was overtaken by device makers who understood the basic truth that users care more about smartphone software than they do the hardware. When Nokia began its death spiral, it took Symbian with it, which explains why the OS has a 0.1 percent market share today.

iSuppli now says Android is the leader in the smartphone OS market with a 76.5 percent share, with Apple's iOS a distant second with 14.9 percent. As for Windows Phone, Windows Mobile's successor? It's an even more distant third with 3.9 percent of the market.

Prediction No. 5: By 2013, the enterprise mashup market will reach $700 million
What happened: Enterprise mashups, which were once defined as the integration of digital data from multiple sources for business purposes, have since been rebranded. You may know them now as part of the API and big data phenomena.

Asking analyst firms about estimated market sizes for enterprise mashups in 2013 gets you a lot of "We don't measure that market" responses. However, Gartner estimates that big data will be a $34 billion market in 2014. That's 48 times greater than the original forecast for mashups. Maybe this one will be true.

 

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