Predications of the impending doom of the BlackBerry smartphone have swirled for more than a year. Constant delays in new operating system upgrades, misfires with tablets and new form-factors (anyone like a touchscreen phone with a thumbpad?) and management turnover are only part of the problem.
The real issue: Employees want a consumer phone they can use at work. We're connected 24x7 now, so having a dedicate business phone that won't play Angry Birds doesn't make sense any more.
5. Windows Phones
Android and the iPhone have won, and in 2013, Microsoft will finally decide to give up on the Windows phone. As much as the platform matches up with Windows 8 and the Surface tablets, consumer interest is not nearly as fanatical. Analyst firm IDC expects Windows Phone to land an 11% market share by 2016, while Ovum suggests a 13% share by 2017, but there's little sign that Android and iPhone users are ready to switch.
Of the 40 people I met at a recent tech conference, a few had an Android, the rest had an iPhone, and not one person had a Windows phone. If early adopters skip the platform, who will stick around?
6. Private Branch Exchange (PBX) Systems
The desktop phone in your cubicle might be on its last leg. Adam Hartung with consultancy Spark Partners says the big technology fail of 2013 will be the traditional corporate PBX system-those desk phones that tie into a corporate data center.
Case Study: Implementing VoIP: Lessons Learned Killing PBX
The problem is that escalating costs and maintenance fees look less and less attractive to companies, especially when employees have started bringing their own gadgets to work and using them exclusively. "Employees are happy to bring their own phone," Hartung says. "Companies only need to know how to collect and manage the connections."
7. Fax Machines