10 Technology Predictions for 2013
Everything mobile moved to the forefront this year. Mobile hardware was at the heart of everything, led by companies like Apple (AAPL) and, to a lesser extent, Google (GOOG) and Amazon (AMZN) . Mobile payments were provided by Square and eBay's (EBAY) PayPal. Mobile shopping was done on Amazon and a variety of other flash-sites and daily-deal shopping.
That theme won't change in 2013, though there may be fewer products and more services, software and games.
On the following pages is an outlook, including the possibility of an Apple TV and the fate of certain handset makers.
Twitter Files to Go Public
This isn't the same thing as going public, which Facebook (FB) did in mid-2012. Twitter will likely file its documents in preparation for an initial public offering in 2014.
Last year I predicted that Google (GOOG) would acquire the micro-blogging site. I wouldn't be surprised if Google makes another run at Twitter, though I expect Twitter would prefer to remain independent.
CEO Dick Costolo has been pretty adamant that the company doesn't need to raise funds soon, as it tries to maximize revenue, while maintaining the user experience and value that Twitter has become. In mid-2012, Twitter said it "expects to generate at least $1 billion in sales in 2014."
I think we'll see Twitter file its documents around November, with an expected offering sometime around February.
Zynga Gets Acquired
Zynga has had a rough 2012, that's for sure. The company has lost nearly three-quarters of its value, important executives have left the company , and Facebook recently distanced itself from the game maker.
CEO Mark Pincus still owns a significant portion of the company (50.15% of the voting rights as of August), despite having sold off significant amounts of stock in the initial public offering and subsequent offering earlier this year.
Zynga, best known for its -Ville games and Words With Friends is trading at extremely cheap levels. It has almost enough cash on hand (about $1.6 billion at the end of the third quarter ) to equal its market cap ($1.8 billion). Zynga is still generating cash flow from operations -- $30.1 million in the third quarter -- and it owns a valuable piece of real estate, its San Francisco headquarters.
Pincus retweeted a tweet that said going private should be an option for Zynga. Given the amount of cash it has on hands, it's not out of the realm of possibility to see a management-led buyout on this one.
An Apple Television
People have been speculating about an Apple-branded television since Steve Jobs mentioned the idea in his biography. "I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use," Jobs told his biographer, Walter Isaacson. "It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud." No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. "It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."