I've been coming to the annual Consumer Electronics Show for the past several years. For the first few of them, in the 2007-2009 range, mobile phones were still a hot topic at the show. Whether it was small announcements of feature phones or major smartphones, there was usually a few devices to check out. And, then, we would see more devices during Mobile World Congress and CTIA in the months that follow this show.
Oddly, however, this year there doesn't seem to be much on the mobile front. AT&T and Pantech announced the Discover, an Android-powered smartphone, but every other phone maker is mum on the topic. Plus, we can't forget NVIDIA's Project Shield Android gaming device/console thing — although who knows if it will ever make it to the market, and the powerful Tegra 4 processor. But there aren't any announcements on when that chip will end up in phones or tablets. I won't forget about the possibility that Sony will announce the Xperia Z this evening, but this still isn't the kind of show where we used to cover at least a half dozen new handsets.
There were days when CES was the place where we came to learn about new mobile technology, such as WiMAX and even LTE, but not anymore. Instead, it's more about how we can use our mobile phones with other devices, such as connected appliances in the home. As I wrote earlier, those devices include TVs, refrigerators, vacuums and more.
It's a bizarre twist… for me, anyway. I do know that CES has long been the showfloor for everything from soda machines to gutter cleaning robots.
Maybe I'm slightly biased as TechnoBuffalo's mobile editor, even a little sad, to see the lack of mobile news here. Sure, AT&T had its annual developers conference that was chock full of news for developers, but that's not directly related to consumers. Not yet, anyway.
I don't think of this as a necessarily negative trend, especially because Mobile World Congress is turning into such a huge global show that's loaded with tablet and smartphone announcements that eventually trickle into countries around the world, including the United States. I'm curious what you think, as our readers, about the lack of actual mobile device news. Sometimes I look back to my early days at CES and wish there were still new phones to play with, and new devices to look forward to in the coming months.
Instead, we'll need to wait until February, it seems.