updated 10:15 am EST, Thu December 3, 2009
IDC predicts for Apple, PC field in 2010
Analysts at IDC today made a sweeping set of predictions for the tech industry in 2010 that highlighted Apple. Researchers expect a major push into mobile apps as the future of computing and expect iPhone apps to lead the pack, with the app count almost tripling to 300,000 by the end of next year. Android will also swell rapidly and reach between 50,000 and 70,000 apps.
In comparison, Microsoft shows just 10,000 apps as explicitly compatible with Windows 7, although the list isn't a complete picture.
The growth will be helped by a much larger presence for smartphones, which IDC expects will represent 16 percent, or about 200 million, of all phones sold in the world. They should also become less expensive overall, and significantly more are expected to cost $150 or less on a contract.
Predictions also have those devices in between phones and full-size computers gaining traction. IDC fully expects Apple to release a tablet by the end of 2010 and uses the more widely reported rumors as the basis for its likely specifications. It believes the tablet will have a touchscreen between 8 and 10 inches across and will have an added focus on e-books. The device if successful could cut deeply into sales of competing readers like the Kindle, according to the researchers. Microsoft's Courier may also be transformed into a production device but is less certain.
Netbooks may escape their limited roles as e-mail and web systems through performance increases, though this will at times come with a higher price. More systems in the category may cost $700 and up to offer a meaningful difference in speed. Today, the field for expensive netbooks is small and mostly limited to Sony's VAIO P and VAIO X that focus on size and weight over absolute performance.
For the industry as a whole, IDC expects cloud computing to become a key point of contention for as long as the next 20 years and will include both obvious competitors like Google and Microsoft as well as possible newcomers like Cisco and IBM.