Yeah, you heard right. Here are my top ten predictions for 2013. You'll laugh at some, but you won't be bored...
It's around this time of year that all the hacks and analysts start looking ahead to the next 12 months and making their predictions.
And I'm feeling rather proud of myself because I correctly predicted that the vast majority of these projections would be very very boring.
Well done me.
Dozens of emailed forecasts have trotted out the same mind-numbing observations that:
* 4G is important, but it's going to get a slow start
* Big data is really significant in some way
* Android is catching up on Apple, but Apple is still very good
* Samsung will sell lots of phones
* Will I Am will become the world's 3rd biggest OEM for phablets
OK - so maybe not the last one. But actually, isn't this sort of eye-catching - and possibly nonsensical – projection what all readers are after? And isn't is what all predictors are duty-bound to deliver?
I think so.
Which is why, with the inspirational sound of My Lovely Lady Humps ringing from my laptop speakers, here are my ludicrous and highly specific predictions for 2013.
1. Tim Cook will get sacked
Since taking over from St Steve, the excellently named Tim has done a tremendous job of shifting units and getting the share price up. That's what normal CEOs do. But his predecessor wasn't normal, and as a result Apple isn't normal. And in the last 12 months, as we all know, the Cupertino firm has stumbled thanks to maps, Siri, YouTube and all that. Yes, the iPhone 5 did OK, but it has a new connector and you can't plug it into your speakers, which is really annoying. The consensus seems to be that we've hit 'peak Apple'. The shareholders will have Cook out when iPhone 5S heralds some new PR disaster.
2. Foursquare will close down
Foursquare, if you're reading, I'm sorry. I've chosen you, but I could choose Pinterest or Groupon or any of the start-ups that grows fast on the back of breathless hype and doesn't have any real revenue. Surely, we're close to the point at which VCs cut their losses on some of these monsters. One of them has to go next year.
3. RIM will start making WinPho devices
OK, maybe not that original a thought. But the travails of Facebook have shown that if you don't master mobile, you're gonna struggle. Microsoft knows this, and is ready to throw money at it. So it will either buy RIM or get it to sign a Nokia-style deal.
4. Twitter will do something that really spooks brands
As the popular uprising against Instagram showed, it's not easy to find a business model that suits people used to paying NOTHING for your stuff. Twitter needs money; brands need Twitter. I reckon Twitter will find some stealthy way to charge corporates – and then an organisation like the BBC will be placed in an invidious position. It's been using Twitter like another open comms channel (email) and will suddenly have to use public money to pay a monopoly to keep it live. Daily Mail will hate that.
5. Amazon will launch a phone and it will flop horribly
Yes, Amazon has done well with Kindle and - to a degree - with Kindle Fire. So this makes people think they can do the same in mobile. But I beg to differ. Consumers choose phones for irrational reasons. Is the Samsung Galaxy III really that much better than the LG Optimus? Not so much. But it has Galaxy written on it, and Samsung has made this marque very desirable. IMO people don't want a phone branded with the name of a firm that's great at renting remote servers.
6. We will all wake up and realise Google Glasses are stupid
I know I'm not the only one who thinks that Google Glasses are ridiculous; a new and silly BlueTooth headset. In 2013, the believers will start to come around too. The concept will quietly ride its Segway to oblivion. And I don't just say this because I can't see out of my right eye.
7. Yahoo will buy Shazam
Shazam keeps on adding millions of users and expanding its remit beyond music and into new areas. Great. But it has serious VCs behind it, and they must be impatient to exit. Google and Apple keep being linked. But with its new management in place, Yahoo has to be looking for a marquee mobile signing. And it might be prepared to pay a premium to make that statement…
8. The OS of the year? Symbian!
Yeah, laugh. But this is my rationale: people in growth markets want smartphones, but they can't be charging them up at 4.30 every afternoon. Symbian will give better battery power and internet connectivity than Android. Heck, it may even throw in a torch. The Indians seem to like Symbian. Why not others?
9. There will be a major QR code scam
We doubted them, and they can still be shit, but you can't deny that 2D barcodes have reached a certain level of consumer acceptance. And possible criminal acceptance too. We're already hearing about scammers sticking their own codes on posters to re-direct consumers to their sites. Expect more of this in 2013, but with far more serious consequences – viruses, diallers etc etc.
10. Tills will start to disappear thanks to mobile
For all Apple's amazing innovation in mobile, will its greatest impact be felt on the high street? Apple takes payments on an iPad and emails the receipt. I believe more retailers will copy this idea, or use Square/iZettle readers to achieve the same ends. Lost sales due to queuing? Gone! Floorspace given over to cash tills? Re-claimed!
So, there you go. Some very specific predictions for you to pour buckets of hot scorn over.
Go on, scorn away. But don't accuse me of cowardice.
And hurry up with your ridicule, because my eleventh prediction is that the Mayans were right and YOU ARE ALL GOING TO DIE...