What will happen in the booming mobile world in 2014? An Amazon smartphone tops a new list of predictions from industry insiders, followed by expectations for a merger of Sprint and T-Mobile US, the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless operators.
Those are some of the highlights from the annual survey by analyst and consultant Chetan Sharma, released this morning. The Amazon smartphone prediction follows widespread and repeated reports about plans by the Seattle company to expand its Kindle hardware lineup beyond e-readers and tablets.
“Amazon smartphone is like water on Mars,” writes Sharma in a post analyzing the survey results. “It is much talked about but hasn’t been spotted yet. Will 2014 be any different? For the first time, expectations improved to 50%+.”
T-Mobile, which has been upending the industry under CEO John Legere, has been subject of rampant acquisition speculation, including reports that Sprint’s majority owner, SoftBank, will attempt to buy T-Mobile in 2014 and merge its operations with Sprint.
Other predictions include Microsoft releasing its own smartphone — which might look like a no-brainer, given the company’s pending acquisition of Nokia. However, Sharma explains that the speculation is that Microsoft “might launch (a) Surface smartphone instead of pushing Windows smartphones.”
See the full survey results in this post.