Wednesday, January 9, 2008

CES 2008: Parting Shots

CES wraps up on Thursday, January 10, and exhibitors will likely be spending the day tearing down booths (many likely after having less than 2 hours sleep the night prior!) As I wrap things up from the show, I thought I'd provide some brief, parting shots.

When it comes to flat-panel, thin is in, if for no other reason than aesthetics. But so is black, both in bezel design and the ability to reproduce the colour (or rather lack there-of) as accurately as possible in a screen. What happens when we've achieved 100% perfect black, and go as thin as we can with flat-panel? The next wave of major excitement will likely generate when we see large-sized OLEDs in stores.

As mentioned in earlier blog posts, I'm floored by the number of portable GPS manufacturers exhibiting at the show, as well as major brand names that are actively enhancing their current navigation device lines and, in the case of Panasonic, entering the category for the first time.

Either there has been a significant increase in the number of navigation devices on the main show floor (which I consider South and Central Halls), or business has skyrocketed over the past year such that smaller companies can now afford larger booths that give them a more significant presence. In fact, I overheard one attendee muse to his colleague that it wasn't the consumer electronics show, it was the "GPS show".

If I were to estimate, the exhibit space dedicated to mobile phones and related accessories has probably increased by 50% over last year, proving how quickly the category is merging with consumer electronics. In terms of the accessories themselves, with mobile phones now employing so many additional multimedia-based features, what once served as add-ons for MP3 players, like portable sound systems, headphones, and the like, now fall into the category of cellular as well. Could it be that exhibitors are marketing the same products toward mobile phone customers now rather than dedicated portable audio player owners?

With that said, stay tuned to the February 2008 issue of Marketnews Magazine for further reportage on the show, and more detailed product information on everything from flat-panels, to audio, cellular, navigation, and hiddem gems in every category. For a sneak peek at some neat items ahead of time, visit the video section of our site at (Videos will continue to be added after the show, so keep checking back for additional content!)

[Photo: Although it's only at the concept stage and therefore not an actual, saleable product, this neat watch phone from LG lets you dial your desired telephone number via a sequence of button presses, or by voice with compatible mobile phones. It operates on the GSM standard.]

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