Daniel Lemire's blog

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My bets

Ongoing bets: Autonomous Vehicules

In January 2017, I placed a bet with Calum Chace on the following:

For all years between now and 2030 (inclusively), the number of tractor-trailer drivers in the US will be higher than 250,000, according to official government statistics.

That is, I am predicting that there will be truckers for many years to come.

Completed bet: Virtual Reality (lost)

In February 2016, I placed a bet against Greg Linden in these terms:

within the next three years, starting in March of this year, we would sell at least 10 million VR units a year (12 continuous months) worldwide.

In March 2019, Sony had sold 4.2 million units of the PlayStation VR. Oculus sold over 400,000 units of the Quest in 2019 for a total of over 700,000 units.

IDC anticipates 6.4 million units will be sold in 2020, partly limited by supply availability. In May 2020, there are two million users on Steam with a VR headsets.

Completed bet: the end of the PC (lost)

In September 2012, I placed a daring bet against Greg Linden on the following:

In some quarter of 2015, the unit sales of tablets will be at least twice the unit sales of traditional PCs, in the USA.

In 2015, I conceded that a lost my bet. One way to describe what happened is to say that phones got much larger and displaced tablets, or, in Greg Linden’s words:

The last concern at the time was whether tablets could thrive despite the pressure from increasingly larger and more powerful mobile phones. That seems to have been the biggest issue. Phablets are getting as large as early tablets, and tablets that try to be much bigger than a smartphone proved too unwieldy and sold poorly. After all, who needs a tablet when you’ve got a mobile that’s almost as large?

Mobile computing is displacing the PC, but the tablet is simply not as important as I expected it to be. Mobile phones, including large mobile phones, are the clear winners.