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Monday, February 11, 2013

CES: Trends in Smartphones

By Kurt Scherf, Contributor

CES is not the main venue where smartphone manufacturers make their most-significant announcements; they wait until the Mobile World Congress in late February. However, the influence of mobile devices was everywhere at CES, and as I’ll talk about shortly they are in fact a major driver for the expected growth in both health and fitness and home control solutions. Two great articles published in Wired (“In the Coming Age of the Connected Home, Your Phone Will Be a Magic Wand”) and The New York Times (“Smartphones Become Life’s Remote Control”) do an excellent job discussing how connected home applications are feeding off the ubiquity of mobile devices with advanced processing power and connectivity.

The biggest trend in smartphones this year was the introduction of so-called “phablets,” smartphones with larger screens that bridge the size gap between standard smartphones and tablets. Huawei’s 6.1” Ascend Mate and Sony’s Xperia Z were two of the more notable large smartphones.

Another interesting trend at this year’s CES was a continuation of the buzz that a company called HzO received at the 2012 show. HzO’s WaterBlock™ technology is a waterproofing made up of a bonded molecule coating that received rave reactions last year. At least two other similar solutions – DryWired and Liquipel – were on display this year.

Kurt Scherf, Contributor, has attended 13 out of the last 14 Consumer Electronics Shows in Las Vegas and tracked the news and developments remotely this year. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the 2013 CES was the largest in terms of physical space (1.92 million square feet), with attendance of more than 150,000, with 35,000 people from 170 countries outside the U.S. While plenty of column space was dedicated to the companies that weren’t in attendance in an official capacity (Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Research In Motion, to name a few), there is always enough excitement in the new year about consumer electronics developments to cover.  

Next: CES: The “Second Screen” Experience
Previous: CES: Pay-TV Services – Threats and Competition

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