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CCS predicts continuing shake-up of media, Internet sectors

Global analyst firm CCS Insight has revealed its predictions for the mobile, media, Internet and consumer electronics sectors for 2017 and beyond. This year, the predictions cover a broader array of technology areas than before, reflecting the speed at which the industry is evolving.

In total, CCS Insight has made 80 predictions, including:

  • By 2025, advanced technology and artificial intelligence dent the income and wealth of the middle class. The changes primarily affect Western markets as skilled occupations are increasingly eroded by software algorithms.
  • Google launches an online university in 2018. Google rolls out its own Internet-based university. Qualifications are awarded in conjunction with an established educational institution. The initiative reinforces the role of Google in people’s lives and marks the start of a huge long-term shake-up of the education sector.
  • By 2021, bots overtake apps in usage and traffic volume. Bots overcome initial hurdles such as security and consumer acceptance in the West to supplant apps as the primary means of interaction with online services. Bot operators derive revenue from transaction referrals rather than advertising.
  • In 2018, smart sports shoes sell 1 million pairs to become the first mass-market smart clothing. Premium sports brands include sensors in their high-end footwear ranges that measure wearers’ activity and performance. The sensors also prompt owners to replace worn-out shoes, shortening the replacement cycle.
  • A three-way battle develops to buy Citymapper in 2017. Apple, Google and Here vie to acquire the UK-based start-up.
  • By 2019, consumers in urban areas are no longer aware of which wireless network technology they are using. The proliferation of public Wi-Fi networks and consumers’ need to be constantly online means that connections are apparently seamless, regardless of the underlying network technology.
  • Success in the smart speaker market is determined by software, not the hardware. There is an explosion of smart speaker products from established audio brands, consumer electronics companies and white-label manufacturers. However, the real battleground proves to be their support for competing voice control systems such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana.
  • Machine learning overtakes the Internet of things as a hot investment area in 2017. More investors recognise the huge potential of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and the area receives greater funding. Several established companies, such as systems integrators, reposition their activities around machine learning to ride the wave of investment.
  • At least one converged network operator sells energy utilities as part of a service bundle by 2018. A network operator looks to exploit its strong customer relationships and billing capabilities to expand into the energy market. At least one operator will claim to offer a “six-play” bundle that includes energy provision and a connected home or car service.

Compiling our 11th set of predictions, we were struck once again by how much the connected world has changed over the past decade. In 2005, Facebook had just started; the iPhone was still a secret project and less than 9 per cent of the Chinese population used the Internet. Now, the connected world is integral to everything we do – how we live, how we interact and how we do business. However, we believe that we are heading into a period of unprecedented change thanks to ever greater computing power, more ubiquitous connectivity and Artificial Intelligence – and our predictions reflect this,” said Shaun Collins, CEO, CCS Insight.

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