Mobile at Center of IT Recovery for 2010
The New Year will usher in a recovery for the IT sector, and mark a watershed era for mobile applications, operating systems and sales, according to IDC.
The end of the year means at least one certainty beyond holiday shopping and empty wallets: Predictions for the coming year. That's where the market research firm IDC comes in, with its forecast for 2010 built around assumptions of a return to growth next year.
Much of the report, IDC Predictions 2010: Recovery and Transformation authored by IDC's chief analyst Frank Gens, can be summed up in a word: recovery.
IDC predicts a growth rate of 3.2% in the IT industry in 2010, with a return to 2008 spending levels (the period before things went off the rails) to about $1.5 trillion. Emerging markets will lead the way, with spending by the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) growing 8% to 13%.
In particular, the telecommunications market will see improving stability worldwide and post 3 percent growth. Public networks will continue the aggressive move to fiber, 3G and 4G wireless. However, IDC thinks 4G will be over hyped, while mobile device makers, wireless carriers and cloud services providers will be forced to team up to provide mobile computing devices with consolidated, built-in Internet connectivity and services. Meanwhile, the researcher expects the FCC to begin regulating new VoIP services like Google Voice.
Spending for New TechFor IDC, such developments will pave the way for a second key term: "transformation". The research firm believes that businesses will emerge from the technological coma has paralyzed global spending and begin spending on the new technologies vendors have been crowing about in recent years. One of those new technologies is Cloud computing, which IDC predicts will expand and mature as a strategic battle for Cloud platform leadership erupts. There will be new public Cloud hotspots, private Cloud offerings, Cloud appliances, and offerings that bridge public and private Clouds.
Smartphones and mobile Internet devices will remain a hot arena as well, with much of the interest likely to continue centering around Apple's iPhone in two ways: further growth in the mobile app market, and new efforts by competitors trying to knock Apple off its perch. In particular, IDC predicts the number of applications in Apple's App Store will triple to 300,000. It also said it expects Apple to release the rumored "iPad" tablet PC-style device that has been the subject of buzz for months.