Written by Hollie Bridgland.

Having recently joined Harvard as a grad, I was thrilled to go along to global analyst firm, CCS Insight‘s “2016 and Beyond” predictions event. After joining the account a few months ago, I was looking forward to not just putting faces to names, but also hearing what they do best.. analyse and predict. After a blustery walk to 30 Euston Square, I arrived at my first ever event and was faced with a room full of media and telecoms industry personalities. I headed to the auditorium, took up a perch and looked down at the crowd below. Just like a young girl getting her future told to her for the first time and holding on to every word, I saw grown men and women with pens in hands and fingers on keypads eagerly awaiting the predictions to commence.

Even before the CCS Insight team got on stage, some of their predictions were already coming true.  For example their prediction that in 2016 a phone-maker would design its smartphone packaging to double as a virtual reality headset, came to light last week with Yezz Mobile launching a new phone with a box that doubles as a virtual reality headset.

The lights dimmed, the crowd went quiet and the predictions started…

First to the stage to reveal his predictions in the Operators sector, was Principal Analyst, Kester Mann. “We predict that… Google launches a mobile service in a leading European market by 2017 and by 2016, two thirds of new post-paid mobile contracts in the UK are for less than £20 a month.” So as Google continue on their quest for world domination, you can look forward to saving a few pounds on your phone contract! Win, win?

Next up was Multi-play and media and the highly anticipated Director, Paolo Pescatore. “We predict that… BT buys ITV by 2018 and Netflix launches a movie download service in the US in 2016.” This is further proving that people like to watch both television programmes and films at their own convenience. With more people turning to the likes of ITV Player, it is not surprising that BT wants a slice of the online TV cake.

Nick McQuire, Vice President of Enterprise, was next to take the stage to reveal his predictions for 2016 and beyond.

“We predict that…In 2016 Apple buys Box or Dropbox to extend iCloud into an enterprise service and Google’s glass at work is the most widely deployed head-worn wearable for employees by the end of 2017.” As Nick pointed out… Apple has slept walked to success, but CCS Insight see the potential for the company to buy Dropbox, the second most used business tool after Office.

Predictions about IoT, automotive and wearables

After a coffee break and a breather, the final round of predictions was underway. First up was Senior Vice President, Martin Gartner who told us his predictions for Internet and Internet of Things. “We predict that…By the end of 2017, Apple replaces Google with Bing as the default search provider in Safari and also a smart city project is hacked in 2017.” The power of the Internet can be both amazing, but also an increase in security threat, so smart cities, listen up and keep smart. No one would like to be known as an unsmart city now would they!

A first-timer to the stage, analyst of Smart Devices and Pricing, Jasdeep Badyal, took to the stage to share his predictions on the Automotive sector and Devices. “We predict that… Google licenses self-driving technology to traditional car-makers by 2020 and in 2016, 3 out of 10 phone manufacturers make more profit from accessories than from mobile phones.” So look forward to no more human errors and instead robotic sensors and a swift journey to work, just watch out for the hackers! Like Martin said, it’s bad enough someone hacking your computer and stealing your password, but someone hacking your car… that’s a different story.

Last to the stage was wearables analyst, George Jijiashvili who he hit the stage with the statement, “2016 is a game changing year!”

George Jijiashvili, CCS Insight

“We predict that…Touch payment emerges as principle use for smartwatches by 2017 and Under Armour becomes the market leader for sports sensor clothing in 2018.” So to avoid having to get out your wallet or purse and remove your oyster to avoid clashes with your contactless card, when entering and leaving the underground, CCS Insight predict you can simply double click and scan your watch. Just don’t misplace your watch in the morning…

And that rounded up the 2016 predictions! I’m looking forward to seeing if the media and telecoms expert’s predictions come true in 2016 and beyond and whether we will be searching on Bing to buy Google’s glass at work and tapping in to the underground with our smartwatch… watch this space!

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