Thursday, January 6, 2011

CES pwned

The anti-Apple brigade is ready for its next group therapy session. The Consumer Electronics Show, the giant annual tech confab, kicks off Thursday, when some 125,000 gadget-heads will descend on Las Vegas. Yet again, none of Apple's hipster crew will attend. ...

But it wasn't until 2007 that Apple truly eclipsed [the Consumer Electronics Show]. Boss Steve Jobs stole the show remotely by unveiling the iPhone at a rival event. Meanwhile, the CES best-of-show award that year went to a now nearly useless combination HD-DVD/Blu-ray player.

The stark and humiliating contrast served notice to Apple competitors. But their attempts to compete head-on continue to be derivative and dorky, at best. The top prize at CES 2009 was the Palm Pre, a phone that never caught on from a company that no longer exists. Other big pushes, such as last year's 3D TV hoopla, increasingly look like a depressing journey into groupthink.

There won't be much catharsis this year either. Apple sold about 15 million iPads in 2010, making it the fastest growing consumer electronics good ever. Nearly all of the big gadgeteers in attendance will unveil rival tablet devices. ...

These tablet-come-latelys will struggle for market share. Apple is nearly ready to sell its second-generation iPad.
--Robert Cyran, Reuters, on the yawning gap between Apple and everybody else

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