Tech prediction season begins

It's starting already: The inevitable end-of-the-year columns and articles predicting the future of tech in 2013 and beyond.

I like to ridicule these predictions whenever possible since they often tend to be crazy. When they are not crazy, they are generalities or actual insider information, which don't qualify as a prediction at all.

Well, this week, Mark Anderson, publisher of Strategic News Service, introduced me to a new strategy for predictions. It was so brilliant that it was rerun by Forbes.

Anderson's gimmick is unique and noteworthy. It works by taking a current development that has been trending in 2012 and predicting it will be a big deal in 2013, as if it is something new. It's genius.

For example, Anderson's first prediction is that "pads and slates" will take their "rightful place" as the largest segment of the market. Geez, talk about predicting the obvious. I would have buried that one deeper in the list.

Number two is that Intel will fall behind Qualcomm and ARM insofar as mobile chipmakers are concerned. If this was predicted in 2005, I would have been impressed.

He goes on with other already done deals. In number three, he asserts that Internet-connected televisions will become popular. In other words, the likes of Netflix and Roku. Again, a 2012 (or even a 2011) phenomenon predicted for 2013.

This continues in the same vein, and it makes me wonder exactly why Forbes is so jacked up about these lame predictions.

Let me get in on this trick by adding a few foresights of my own to this list:

Prediction: Microsoft will continue to struggle with its Windows Phone OS, causing serious concern at Nokia. Is that a whopper of a prediction or what?

Here is a variation on the idea of predicting the past as the future. Prediction: Apple will roll out an actual TV set in 2013. Now this is more like it. All indicators suggest that Apple is working on a full-sized TV of some sort. I may as well predict it. But this is not something that has already happened, so this is an actual prediction, although not a very insightful one.

Let me try again using the Anderson methodology. Prediction: PC sales will flatten in 2013. Finally, a good one since this happened in 2012 and it sounds kind of like an actual prediction.

How about this one. Prediction: 2013 will be the year of the Apple Store. There's a keeper. Who will be able to say that 2013 is not the year of the Apple Store? Onwards…

Prediction: Samsung will overtake Apple and become the largest maker of smartphones. Now this is a gem since it already happened but somehow sounds like a smart prediction. And 10 years into the future, someone could read it and say, "Wow, he nailed it!" not noticing that it came a year late.

Now I'm getting the hang of it. There’s more to come, I'm sure.