CCS predicts Apple SVoD, enhanced Google AI in 2018

CCS Insight has revealed its predictions for the, media, Internet and enterprise and mobile sectors for 2018 and beyond. This year, the predictions cover a broad array of technology areas, with references to the impact of artificial intelligence, the rise of Internet players and their move towards the operator space, and the adoption of new business models as market competition heightens.

In total, CCS Insight has made 90 predictions, including:

  • Big Internet players take stakes in major telecom operator groups by 2020. The approach underlines Web players’ dependency on networks and connectivity. The technologies involved are costly and operators prefer to make substantial investments in existing providers that will influence their strategies. We expect Facebook’s Telecom Infra Project to be a trigger in many markets. The move raises significant Net neutrality concerns.
  • Westerners born in 2016 will be the last adults to need passwords. By the time people born in this year start using authentication features, biometrics will have replaced Internet passwords. Cash machines and card payments will remain the last bastion of PINs.
  • Apple launches a SVoD service in 2018. Building upon its subscription- based Apple Music service, Apple closes the gap on rivals such as Amazon, which has a strong position in hardware and services. The service allows subscribers access from all their Apple devices for a fixed monthly fee. As part of its efforts to differentiate, the company features original content prominently.
  • The automotive industry draws investment by big technology companies away from other areas until at least 2027. The large size of the automotive market, with its clear direction toward autonomous cars, attracts more and more investment in the coming years, as companies deploy their best personnel and other resources. Technologies in already-mature consumer categories such as smartphones are seen as cash cows and do not benefit from major injections in innovation.
  • By 2019, a national regulator mandates coverage of transport infrastructure as part of a cellular licence award. The directive is focused on achieving near-universal coverage on principal road and rail routes, most likely using low-band spectrum such as 700 MHz, which is particularly suitable for achieving wide-area coverage.
  • Several leading operators make acquisitions in vertical markets to drive strategies for the Internet of things. Operators recognise that connectivity represents only a tiny fraction of the overall value of most projects in the Internet of things. To exert more influence, a small number of deep-pocketed providers place bold bets by diversifying into industry sectors. Examples include Vodafone’s move into automotive and Verizon’s efforts in agriculture.
  • In 2018, Google’s advantage in artificial intelligence starts to set Android apps apart from rivals. The smartness of Google’s cloud and artificial intelligence capabilities create an advantage for its services. Although this enriches Google offerings on several platforms, it also manifests as a differentiator for Android as Google starts to emphasise its operating systems as the home for the best Google experience. In response, Apple steps up efforts to communicate how its privacy stance aids rather than hinders users’ experience, but Siri’s shortcomings in intelligence are a thorn in Apple’s side.
  • The first IoT app store for machine learning skills launches in 2018. Machine learning algorithms will be highly focused on vertical markets, based on deep domain expertise, but increasingly run on horizontal market devices, such as surveillance cameras, industrial gateways and micro-controllers. There is a clear need for developers to make their algorithms commercially available to a broad array of potential customers in an efficient way.
  • By 2022, 75 per cent of current platforms for the Internet of things disappear. The number of cloud platforms for the Internet of things has grown to more than 350 over the past few years and new ones are still being developed and launched. With only a few customers, many of the smaller platforms are not viable. There is a wave of change including full system replacements, mergers and acquisitions, especially as customers buy key suppliers.
  • A leading network operator adopts a radical new business model by 2021. In a bid to combat stagnant revenue growth, operators seek to become global technology players offering a wide range of contextual services. They look to build multiple brand partnerships through revenue-sharing agreements, a strategy that aims to better exploit strengths in scale, branding and customer relationships. This new outlook reflects intensifying competition from Internet rivals and past failures to effectively profit from the huge growth in mobile data.

This year marks our 12th set of predictions and the transitions we are seeing across our markets have never been more acute.  Thanks to ever greater computing power, ubiquitous connectivity and the rise of artificial intelligence and neural networks, we anticipate an increasing rate of disruption across all areas of the economy and people’s lives.

With anticipated consolidation across multiple industries and major players such as Facebook, Apple and Amazon all beginning to move into new sectors such as sports broadcasting, security and automotive, the market is moving at a pace we haven’t experienced in twenty years,” said Shaun Collins, CEO, CCS Insight.

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