How the fight to be 2005’s must-have gizmo will be played out

By Nick Clayton

Not since Sony’s Walkman 25 years ago has one company’s gadget captured the public imagination in quite the same way as Apple’s iPod did in 2004. It is impossible to imagine that any electronic gizmo will enjoy anything approaching the same buzz in the foreseeable future, but that won’t stop the marketing hype.

Even more money will be spent by mobile phone manufacturers and network providers to convince business and domestic customers it is worth buying into third generation (3G) technology. Networks will be hoping to recoup some of the billions of pounds they spent on licences for the new data services. They will be pushing everything from high-speed business information services to video dating and gambling in an effort to persuade people to ditch their old handsets.

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