In the middle of summer, news is typically harder to come by. So I thought it might be a good time to reflect a little bit on 2009 and what happened so far in our industry.
Insight Media Analyst
Entering 2009 was like entering the temple of Doom. Everybody agreed that all industries are facing one of the greatest downturns we have seen in a long time (I don’t know why every economic crisis has to be the worst we ever encountered — I would be very happy to live through the smallest crisis ever). The forecasts of all analysts had only one direction — sharply down! For an industry working with professional crystal balls this was amazing to observe. Yes, we are having a worldwide economic crisis and the economical situation is certainly scary at best.
During the last few weeks the 2009 second quarter results came in. For many industries we see that the actual results, even though still falling short of Q2′08, are actually better than expected. That’s better than expected compared to the very poor industry performance of the first quarter of 2009. Please take a look at some of the headlines from last week:
EE Times: Motorola posts profit, shares rise
Associated Press: Samsung Q2 Profit Rises, Hynix Trims Loss
Engadget: Sony Ericsson posts $299 million Q2 2009 loss, … (compared to $382M Q1′09 loss)
The optimists among us are ready to declare the end of the recession as they are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. The pessimists are still seeing a slowing downturn. And as it is often the case, they are both right. On a worldwide basis the economy is still struggling and will continue to do so well into 2010. On the other hand some market segments, and some players in these segments, are actually doing pretty well.
From the perspective of the analyst the markets in general aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. This seems to be a pretty save bet. As many of you know, the Chinese character for crisis means both Danger AND Opportunity, so we have to ask ourselves who is in danger and where is the opportunity? From the looks of things the danger isn’t over for anyone, but some players are already seizing opportunities. Some are already declared winners such as the Apple / iPhone combination, but what is happening with the old crown jewel of Apple - the iPod?
These troubling times are often a great starting block for the next big thing. Well-designed products can hit the nerve of the time and be catapulted to stardom, starting a new cycle of optimism, and eventually, of economic prosperity.
Nevertheless this doesn’t make our forecasting job easier. Instead of forecasting the overall trend with one big crystal ball we are looking at many small crystal balls and try figuring out what product will become the one we all knew would make it.
What do YOU think will be the next big product in our industry?