2011 predictions: CCS Insight director Ben Wood

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CCS Insight director Ben Wood reckons O2 will overtake Everything Everywhere for revenue in 2011, and 3D phones will usurp tablets as the boom devices

“In terms of operators, 2011 is going to be a massive year for O2, whose ability to attract and keep its subscribers will mean it will, at some point, overtake T-Mobile and Orange.

“This will be an incredible achievement when you look at the sheer size of Everything Everywhere.

“Operators, though, are going to have to up their games, meaning more focus on the quality of data, rather than sheer volumes we see from companies like Three at the moment.

“At the same time, devices that put less strain on operators’ networks, will be given priority. Because of this platforms such as Android will become more data efficient as the year progresses. It will also become a platform to sell handsets – expect the next iPhone to focus on this heavily when it is released.

“The handset boom on the high street will come to an end as more and more people switch to 24 month contracts in order to support their smartphones. I estimate around 75 per cent of contracts will be 24 months in 2011.

“It is going to be interesting to see what happens in the tablet market. At the moment the iPad is in a category of its own. What remains to be seen is whether companies have the time and the money to build separate apps for the iPad, Android tablets and Nokia tablets that come out over the course of the year.

“In terms of devices it looks like the big mover-and-shaker in 2011 is going to be 3D phones. Both Sharp and LG are set to bring these out. There are two sides to this however – 3D content contribution, which will see devices fitted with two cameras and could be in danger of becoming a fad, and 3D content distribution which is more likely to last.

“The latter will allow consumers to watch 3D movies without the need for glasses and I have to say at this stage that I see 3D phones being massive next Christmas.”

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