Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year! What Lies Ahead?

Another year, another 365 days. What do we have to look forward to in the consumer electronics industry in 2009? We'll find out much of this at the 2009 International CES, which commences next week in Las Vegas. But there is still plenty that we can safely anticipate.

When it comes to flat-panel TV technology, this could be the year for OLED. Sure, Sony has already been selling its portable (and stunning!) model for more than a year; but might we see larger-format displays utilizing the technology in homes this year?

In the cellular arena, new carriers will commence operations by around Q3/Q4. What will this mean for existing carrier business? What's more, can new entrants even sustain themselves through this troubling economy? After all, building an entire cellular network is a costly venture! Google's Android format will also hit the phones market in full force by the end of this year, leaving much to the imagination on the apps and software side.

Internet radios are also poised to make waves. It's an interesting paradox: while many other devices encourage us to buy digital music online then stream it to our home audio systems, these radios base their differentiating factor on, in part, free, Internet radio content. Could they result in a drop in the sale of digital music? Probably not, since people still like the play their own collections. But these radios do point toward a larger trend in the industry: the connection of the PC to the overall home theatre system.

On that front, many people are excited to see what the PC companies are up to this year. What's up Microsoft's sleeves? Intel? And with Steve Jobs absent from this year's Macworld (which will be the last Apple participates in), will 2009 be a quiet year from the Mac, iPod, and iPhone maker?

We can't, of course, ignore the state of the economy, which will inevitably lead to tough times ahead. But this doesn't mean technology development becomes stagnant, nor that people lock themselves up at home never to visit a retail store again until times get better. Shopping through the holidays, and especially on Boxing Day, proved that Canadians still have a relatively positive outlook that we'll get through the financial crisis.

Still, 2009 is poised to be an exciting year for this industry, as always. Stay tuned next week, where we'll be reporting to you from CES!


Alex balanovic said...

My dad is going to ces there are 2 things i told him to remember "Grab what is is free and take as many pictures as you can".:)

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