I'm going to be on CNBC on Wednesday morning around 10:30am ET, on the last day of 2014, to look forward to what's going to happen in the world of tech during 2015.
Here are 10 predictions of what to watch for in the New Year.
1. Apple (AAPL)
a. Apple Watch will be a hit. This might mean that it only sells 20 million units this year, which some would say is too low. But, make no mistake, this will be a slow-burning hit that people would love once they start using it. It will come with a whole new set of apps that intrigue people, and they will be different from the apps on phones or tablets.
b. Apple will launch new surprise product(s) this year. Eddy Cue, who oversees Internet Software and Services at Apple, had already hinted at it last May, but people seem to have forgotten about it. Investors and bloggers should get excited, once a rumor of a new product starts to make the rounds.
c. In the coming year, Apple will do an acquisition that's much bigger than Beats, surprising all the Apple purists who say the company only does small tuck-in deals. Spotify might be the one. It wouldn't surprise me if it were Tesla (TSLA).
2. Twitter (TWTR)
a. Dick Costolo will still be Twitter's CEO a year from now. All these calls for him to quit will be forgotten. The board will conclude he's as good as any new person they might get.
b. Twitter will do a big acquisition in the Messaging space this year. Kik could be the one.
c. Revenues will keep going up strongly.
3. Initial public offerings
a. Uber and Airbnb will have IPOs this year.
b. I think there's an outside shot that even Snapchat might have an IPO this year.
c. These IPOs will all be hugely popular.
4. AOL (AOL)
a. I think AOL would end up getting acquired this year.
b. It should be either in a merge with the core business of Yahoo! (YHOO) or it could be bought out by Time Warner (TWX).
5. Yahoo! (YHOO)
a. Yahoo will reach $80 per share this year. There will be a combination of tax savings on a spin-out announcement of the Alibaba (BABA) shares (possibly the Yahoo Japan shares too). But there will also be some marginal improvement in the core business, convincing investors it's worth $15 billion rather than its current less-than-nothing valuation.
b. Marissa Mayer stays on as CEO.
c. Watch for an Apple search deal.
6. Google (GOOGL)
a. Google will continue to face more mobile headwinds in 2015.
b. There's chatter about there being a hiring freeze in place right now at the company.
c. The company is at risk of losing search on the iPhone this year.
d. Google needs to demonstrate that it can really win this year in mobile.
7. Alibaba (BABA)
a. Alibaba starts to show meaningful progress this year in bringing in more global brands to sell through its platform in China.
b. This should help take the stock to new all-time highs.
8. Lending Club
a. 2015 should be a big year for Lending Club and other peer-to-peer lenders.
b. This company has the chance to really set itself apart as a unique online brand as distinct as PayPal, ebay (EBAY), or Amazon (AMZN).
9. Facebook (FB)
a. Mobile dollars will continue to roll into this company en masse.
b. Facebook will be allowed to enter China, but its revenues there will not increase materially, which would disappoint investors. China ensures that the only Internet companies who make money over there are Chinese.
10. Sleepers to watch for
a. 2015 should be good to lesser-known tech IPOs of 2014, like GrubHub (GRUB) and TrueCar (TRUE).
Have a great and prosperous New Year. Thanks for reading this past year.