CES crowds head to Vegas where hits run dry

“Ultra-high definition television sets that don’t have much content available. Wireless chargers that don’t work together because they’re built on competing industry standards,” Ian King reports for Bloomberg. “Wearable devices that few consumers have shown interest in buying.”

“Technology companies will once again be using the Consumer Electronics Show that starts next week to unveil must-have new gadgets,” King reports. “The odds are stacked against them.”

“Some companies have scaled back their participation in CES. Microsoft no longer does the eve-of-the-show keynote presentation or a giant booth to show off products. It now rents more than 20,000-square-feet of space to use on an invite-only basis for customers and partners,” King reports. “Other companies don’t bother showing up… Apple’s absence and the rise of Mobile World Congress, a mobile-technology conference that drew 85,916 attendees to Barcelona last year, takes away some of the focus of the biggest consumer device — the smartphone — from Las Vegas.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Although Apple Inc. won’t be there, their influence will absolutely dominate the event, as it will at the Mobile World Congress; this domination will come in the form of iOS and OSX App developers showing off their latest innovations and connected device makers the same.

    These events are effectively ‘also ran’ events, where 2nd rate companies “try”, but fail, to show what they believe is ‘innovation’, but in truth shows that they still do not have a clue!

    1. To be fair, Apple is not the source of all tech innovation. The spark in most other large tech companies is rather underwhelming, but small tech companies across the world are developing some interesting stuff. You might not see most of that stuff as CES because of the cost of attendance, but it is there.

      One of Apple’s unique abilities as a large company is the relative efficiency of its R&D efforts at delivering marketable products. Combine that with its advantages over small companies – enormous resources, well-established and extensible hardware and software product ecosystem, widespread retail presence, and brand name recognition – and a key reason for Apple’s continued success become very evident. The source of these advantages is superior corporate vision, management, and execution. As long as Apple maintains its commitment to its core values, the company will remain strong.

      1. The world has changed. It used to be that you needed all kinds of small attachments or gadgets to enhance the usability of some of your other tech. We used to need all sorts of external speakers, cables, Bluetooth adapters, zip drives etc. Now all of those items are built in. It’s become harder to come up with a new independent gadget. Look at the 4K TVs. They are struggling because they can’t survive on their own. They need to tap into a network that generates 4K content and can deliver it. If you are big enough to make something like a smart phone or an automobile then why do you need to go to CES to show it off?

    2. This is true. The iPavillion has been the most interesting place at CES for years now. I’m surprised they don’t spin that off entirely or at least sell tickets just to that for consumers.

      This year though, the Internet of Things showcase may be pretty interesting, and I’m curious as to how much iBeacon/HomeKit/HealthKit stuff will be shown.

      Thankfully I won’t have to spend more than a day at most there.

    1. There will ever be the new and nifty technology, as long as our governments and technology business cultures allow it! (IOW: Sorry China. You can’t play, not until…).

      Whether these shows have to be ground based is another matter.

      1. My point is that changes happen so often, and technology encompasses so many fields now, that one big show will never cover everything and will in many ways be outdated before it has even started. A general show like this serves little purpose really.

        1. I understand. I especially agree about them being outdated. If there was a quarterly show, that might be kind of useful. But to have an annual show at this point in the technology engine is really silly. It’s perhaps helpful for the immediate future. But the consider it poignant for a YEAR is pointless.

  2. The fate of CES is simple: It follows the fate of Microsoft. Thus…

    Let’s cheer in the new, progressive, futurist shows! The end of the Dark Age of Computing grows ever closer!!!

    BTW: It’s amusing how the MacWorld show has NOT followed the fate of the Mac or Apple. It has followed the fate of paper publishing.

    1. I won’t be attending CES this year. Sadly, I may be missing out on fresh new gizmos on display, like the smart toaster I have been dying for, or the refrigerator that talks you out of opening its door after analysing your body weight. This dazzling new “internet of things” is truly a shining wave of innovation to inspire a world starved for novelty, especially a first-world world.

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