Coming off the back of last year, I'm slightly more confident that some of these will be true, while some will be so way off the mark, it's not even funny. As was the theme for 2014, mobility and connected devices will continue to be the major drivers in 2015, with everything from your watch to your phone to your refrigerator looking to become smarter.
We've already seen some mergers in the connected device space, with Google (GOOGL) buying Nest and Dropcam, and I suspect that will continue next year. The health and fitness market is also likely to get a boost, with wearable technology coming to the forefront, as evidenced by the Apple Watch announcement.
On the next few pages is the outlook for 2015, including the possibility of a few major mergers in the tech space, a CEO stepping down, some product predictions and more.
Twitter Gets Sold
Bam! Nothing like starting off 2015 with a bang, right?
Twitter (TWTR) has had a rough start to its life as a public company, to say the least. There are quite a few people calling for CEO Dick Costolo's head. Its CFO, Anthony Noto, committed one of the most egregious gaffes a CFO could make in sending a message about acquiring a company that was meant to be private and turned out to be for the whole world to see. The company's gone through some major product changes, yet has seen little in the way of new user growth, ending the Sept. quarter with just 284 million monthly active users (MAUs).
The company's biggest problem isn't that it can't generate money, as third quarter revenue rose 114% year over year to $361 million, and it now expects 2014 adjusted EBITDA to be between $260 million and $265 million, up from a prior outlook. It's that it doesn't appeal to a broad enough audience. The company can try to buy growth, either by buying one of the names it's rumored to be interested in, or if investors feel the current management can't get it done, they could place pressure on Noto (a former Goldman Sachs GS investment banker and one of the main bankers on Twitter's IPO) to run a sale of the company.
I'd bet that if Noto does indeed run a sale of the company, Google (GOOGL) salivates over the acquisition and ultimately pulls the trigger. Google has a ton of cash on its balance sheet (which I'll talk more about later) and would love to get Twitter's tweets integrated into Google search.
The two companies had a previous relationship, with Google integrating tweets into real-time search, but the deal ended in 2011, amid hard feelings on both sides. Don't be shocked to see Google come knocking if Twitter's market cap drops below $20 billion.