Google to buy GoPro? Top tech predictions for 2015

A look at CCS Insight’s predictions for next year
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CCS Insight has revealed its top tech predictions for 2015 and beyond.

Google buys GoPro
“GoPro has excelled in the video and image capture market but is currently facing increased competition from new players and products. Google provides further investment and exploits GoPro's brand, technical expertise and devoted users to advance Google Glass. It also invests in cloud storage and video processing services for GoPro owners.”

At least one crowd-funded consumer technology company turns into a billion-dollar business by 2017
“Crowd funding has been heralded as a game-changing way of creating product and companies. But not all candidates are successful. About 60 percent of projects on Kickstarter fail to achieve funding and getting beyond a single crowd-funded project to a viable company remains an elusive goal. Nevertheless, the most successful examples defy the odds, with at least one growing into a billion-dollar business.”

Europe sees a change in tone from regulators as US carrier revenue surpasses that of European operators
“Total revenue of the big four US carriers surpasses that of the whole of Europe in 1H15. In Europe as a new commission is ushered in, subtle changes in telecoms legislation ensues. The new body continues to champion the consumer, but adopts a more sympathetic stance to mobile operators. Fuelled by a determination that Europe recovers ground lost to leading nations in Asia and North America, the commission pushes operators to invest faster in network deployment and innovation. Particular focus areas for the new regime include in-market consolidation, Net neutrality, spectrum allocation and the role and impact of internet players.”

3D and array cameras become a standard element of flagship smartphones and tablets
“Rapid improvement in camera technology and a desperate need to differentiate sees widespread adoption of 3D cameras such as Intel's RealSense and Pelican Imaging's array in high-end devices. In addition to providing enhanced photography capabilities such as focus changing, they also enable other capabilities such as measuring heights and distances. Growing consumer interest in 3D printing means these devices can be used to create 3D renders that can be printed out.”

Western companies acquire internet players in the East
“As Chinese internet players assert themselves more fully in the US and other Western markets, the converse will happen, with large Western internet players making acquisitions in China and other Asian territories. They will be driven by the high price of West Coast start-ups; by a shortage of IT talent in the US; and by the benefits offered by such acquisitions: it might be simpler to buy an Asian internet player than to compete with it, for example.”

Windows Phone becomes the number-two mobile operating system among businesses by late 2016
“Microsoft's mobile platform overtakes BlackBerry and Android to become the second most popular corporate standard behind Apple's iOS. Companies of all sizes increasingly gravitate to Microsoft devices, attracted by lower hardware costs and easy integration with cloud services and back-end systems. Microsoft's huge assets in operating systems, productivity and collaboration software, end-point and identity management services and enterprise developer tools become more important factors in businesses' decision-making. Internal developers warm to Windows 10's relatively simpler app development across device categories. Device purchasing priorities shift from hardware to considerations about architecture and applications.”

Baidu and Apple deepen their strategic relationship
“Apple's focus on growth in China coupled with Baidu's desire to increase user engagement and search revenue leads to greater integration of Baidu services in iOS and OS X. In contrast to Apple's relationship with Google, the lack of a competitive conflict of interests lays the foundation for stronger engagement. Baidu will view its Apple relationship as a major component of its future international expansion.”

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