Besides the obvious reason for the Consumer Electronics Show (showing off your products), this year is going to be a particularly heated one.  It’s not only competitor vs. competitor, it comes down to a much more primal urge for a much more desired edict.

Relevancy.

In all of the markets in all the world, there are few that are exploding like the mobile industry.  More specifically, the smartphone market which has doubled in size from 2009 to 2011.  Similar in boom to the video game market explosion in the mid-late 2000’s but with much more far-reaching implications, the mobile industry represents a fundamental paradigm shift in the way our most important commodity is consumed and created:  That commodity is data.  And now, right before our eyes, we’re witnessing what could be a massive tectonic shift in the industry that has had its familiar players in motion.

Apple is sitting upon its ecosystem, quite comfortably I may add.  Recent events, however, have shown that even Apple’s iron grip on the mobile market is not infallible.  Their once lofty perch of being the single largest smartphone manufacturer has been overtaken by Samsung (Although the sales of the iPhone are still envy worthy no matter which way you look at it), and their highly successful iPad line is facing an uncertain future with the advent of Windows 8 tablets on the horizon.  Could the new tablet competition be a huge hurdle, or a speedbump?  Will the introduction of the iPhone 5 put Apple back on top?  CES should prove interesting and answer a few questions there.

Microsoft and Nokia’s fates are intertwined, irrevocably, with the acceptance of Windows 8, the new Nokia Windows Phones, and the Windows 8 tablets that will hopefully be given some fresh air to breathe at the 2012 CES.  We’re already aware of the Lumia 900 making its debut, but there has to be more.  This being Microsoft’s last CES (In my opinion, they want their new product lines to be introduced at a trade show closer to the holidays), here’s hoping they make a bit of a splash.  The Windows 8 tablets, which could be the future of Microsoft’s line as tablets sales are on fire right now, are also tied to the fate and future of another old player in the industry…

…Intel.  Their Medfield processors have been AWOL, but with a recent leak from the Korean Times things seem to be getting back on track.  While Intel has a concrete stranglehold on the desktop and laptop markets, their ascension to the slate form factor is practically required at this point for them to stay in competition.  They need a low-energy, high-performance chip that can run legacy software… and they need it soon.

All the old curmudgeons of the tech world are feeling the heat from up-and-comers from all corners.  CES 2012 will give us some answers and some insight on the future of previously mentioned tech world, and the fever-pitch competition should produce some great consumer level products for us in the process.  Let’s enjoy the fireworks, folks.  This is gonna be a wild one.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Last year was dominated by tablets, which in hind site, turned out to be a non story the rest of the year until the Kindle Fire. Apple as you stated completely dominated there. I for one and very interested in the Win 8 tablets but think Apple has a few more years before they have to “really” worry about that.

    Long live the tablet and hurry the heck up iPad 3, I long for your rumored retina screened goodness!

  2. If you’re in the tablet market you need to be thinking about what the iPad 3 and Kindle Fire 2 will look like later this year. Those are the two baselines.

    Mobility is where its at for everything now. The ability to work and play while remaining mobile is what wil seperate those at the top and those below. This is the single most important key I am driving home to my small business clients in 2012.

    A key thing that will come out of the Win 8 Tablet release is the fight for mobile search. If Microsoft can get enough volume they can actually raise their search percentage which means big bucks.

    Microsoft is really watching and learning from industry best practices. The things Apple does right they try and pick up on. The same goes for Google, Facebook and Amazon.

    I’m interested to see if Apple indeed brings out a direct size & price competitor to the Kindle Fire.

  3. I think Apple will be a solid company for years and years to come. They make a good product and have an easy as hell to use ecosystem, so I think their sales will continue to keep them highly profitable, at the very least.

    I think the Android tablets as a whole are going to suffer if the Win8 tabs are what they’re purported to be. The Fire will of course continue to be the low-end chief, at least for a bit, but the functionality of current-gen tablets is not something that most people will latch on to long-term. There needs to be more there.

  4. If you know anything about CES, it’s basically an Apple iPhone / iPad accessory sales pitch with some TVs in between. Anything that other manufacturers can do to interrupt this will take a lot of effort, and will require some extremely impressive features.

    As for Samsung being the number 1 smartphone manufacturer, that’s when people stopped buying the iPhone 4 before the iPhone 4S was announced. I guarant-damn-tee they’re back on top right now.

    Fighting the “made for iPhone” accessories battle will take some serious doing.

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