A mere 12 days ago, I posted GearBits' Predictions for 2009. To my surprise, some of them are already coming true:
3) Palm Launches New OS to Fanfare, Skepticism
I predicted that Palm would announce its new OS and show off at least one device at CES, which they did...in spades. While most coverage has been off-the-charts positive, there have been some nattering nabobs of negativism who feel there's just can't be a way for Palm to come back. Palm's next big hurdle is actually getting the Pre through FCC approval and into Sprint's stores.
7) Steve Jobs Announces Transition to New Role
My guess was that Jobs' health concerns were more serious than the public was being led to believe. Today, Jobs announced he was taking some time because his "health-related issues are more complex than [he] originally thought." Given Jobs' recent statement that his weight loss was due merely to an easily treatable hormone imbalance and expected no change from the status quo, this announcement shocked everyone. We hope for his quick recovery and return to doing the job he does so well.
10) Line Blurs between "Netbooks" and Notebooks/Laptops
My prediction stated that we would start seeing new models fill in the gap between the low-end netbooks and traditional (i.e., full-featured, more powerful, and more expensive) subnotes. At CES, there were a variety of netbooks announced. While most played the familiar tune of 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, a hard drive, and an 8-10" screen running 1024x600, there were a couple of standouts. The most discussed was the Sony Vaio P, a 1.4-lb netbook (even though they don't want you to call it that) that rocks a 1600x768 screen and runs Vista (albeit slowly). At a price point of $900 (for the low-end unit), it clearly is aimed at the gap between typical netbooks and upscale ultraportables. Another, more obscure one that fills this gap is the Olidata Conte, a very capable machine that, when it comes to market, may cost around $1,000.
Update (1/25/09): Apparently, AMD (via Engadget) agrees with me; CEO Dirk Meyer said in an earnings call that "the distinction between what is a netbook and what is a laptop is going to go away...there will be a continuum of price points and form factors." Good to know the C-suite is listening to me. ;-)