LAS VEGAS—The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas hosted a pair of preliminary press events yesterday that aimed to give journalists a primer before the three-day tech showcase officially begins on Thursday.
Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and director of research for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), and Ben Arnold, senior research analyst for CEA, offered some thoughts on what to expect out of the tech industry in the coming months. To be sure, wireless will be a big component in everything from computers to healthcare going forward.
DuBravac offered a few key predictions, saying that the new generation of electronics will be more portable, smarter, more connected and packed with sensors of all kinds. He also made the point that apps like those on smartphones will continue to push the limits of what all kinds of devices can do, from TVs to car stereos.
The demand for more portable wireless devices has created a segmented mobility market that has pushed form factors in numerous directions, including the ever popular tablet devices. Arnold contends that the optimal price point for tablets in 2011 will be somewhere between $300 and $440. CEA expects nearly 20 million tablets to sell globally in 2011.
A lot of numbers were thrown around, but it’s really the quiet before the storm as the biggest of the big names, as well as some of the smallest startups, prepare to offer the world a glimpse of what they’ve been concocting over the past year. Beneath the lights of Sin City, every company with a new idea is grabbing for the media’s attention, and for now at least, they have it.
In the next few days, attendees will hear from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Verizon’s Ivan Seidenberg, as well as many others, including a pre-show keynote from Ralph de la Vega, AT&T’s mobility and consumer markets chief, at the AT&T Developer Summit.
Big names aside, it’s the general climate at CES that ultimately offers the best look at where technology is headed in the coming year. At a product preview that followed the trends talk by DuBravac and Arnold, there seemed to be a wireless component to all the products. In fact, it was the rare booth that didn’t have a smartphone or tablet hooked up for some sort of demonstration.
Check back with Wireless Week for the big news to hit the wires over the next couple of days at CES and follow our live blog.
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