“The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas attracts thousands of exhibitors and attendees searching for the next big thing, with this year set to feature a cornucopia of technological innovation from connected fridges to drones, smartwatches and virtual reality headsets,” Tim Bradshaw writes for The Financial Times. “Yet as the annual gadget jamboree gets under way again this week, many in the tech industry are now facing the reality that there may never be another innovation like the smartphone. Apple’s original iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs the same week as the event exactly a decade ago — and the worry is that the industry’s most overhyped gadgets are failing to establish a similar connection with consumers.”

“It is a puzzle that even Apple itself has not yet been able to solve,” Bradshaw writes. “The iPad saw rapid growth soon after its introduction in 2010 but sales have declined year-on-year since the peak in 2013. New hardware such as Apple Watch and its TV set-top box were not enough to offset the iPhone’s decline last year as the smartphone market has slowed.”

“At CES this week, many manufacturers will add virtual assistants from the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Google to their products, while others will claim they have added ‘artificial intelligence’ to everything from cars to toothbrushes,” Bradshaw writes. “Many manufacturers will be hoping to replicate the growing popularity of Amazon’s Echo, a voice-controlled speaker that can play music, turn on lights or hail a taxi. ‘We expect an avalanche of smart speakers at CES,’ says Ben Wood, analyst at CCS Insight, a tech researcher.”

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