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Retrevo's 2012 CES Predictions Print E-mail
Written by Retrevo   
Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Another year, another CES. The huge consumer electronics extravaganza in Las Vegas that officially opens on January 10th looks to be a major showcase for tablets, TVs and connectivity this year.

The 55-inch LG OLED TV is already getting a lot of buzz even though it’s rumored $8,000 price tag will keep it in the fantasy realm for most consumers. We predict this will be the most photographed and talked about product at the show.

Android Tablets Will Make Another Run At the iPad
This time last year Google was just about ready to ship its tablet-friendly version of Android called Honeycomb but even that didn’t seem to help Android make a dent in Apple’s iPad business. This year we have another version of Android called Ice Cream Sandwich which may or may not help the mainstream tablet vendors like Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and others attract buyers to their tablets. At the moment it looks like the two dominant tablet makers; Apple and Amazon won’t even be exhibiting at CES. We also think we’ll see tablets featured at a lot of booths as accessories to TVs and controllers for smart home technology. The word is we’ll see close to 100 new tablets on display at this year’s CES including some quad-core, Tegra 3, Kal-El-powered versions like Acer’s Iconia Tab A700. Samsung’s 5.3-inch Note which represents a new size for tablets should me getting a lot of attention along with some tablets that might be running Microsoft’s Windows 8.

What Do We Expect to See in TVs at CES?

4K Passive 3DTVs
For the last couple of years we saw manufacturers making a big push with 3DTV which has struggled to offer consumers a good reason to buy them. Uncomfortable and expensive glasses along with a lack of compelling 3D content haven’t help 3DTV’s cause. We do expect to see 3D featured this year at CES with more sets using the less expensive passive glasses creating something of a glasses format war but fortunately content providers don’t have to pick one format or the other as their content will work with either type of set. Critics of passive 3DTV cite the loss of vertical resolution due to the need to interlace two images in one frame but perhaps the new wave of ultra high definition or “4k” TVs (UHDTVs) which should be on display this year could solve that problem. Autostereoscopic (glasses-free) sets should look better this year but we still suspect we’re years away from a large screen glasses-free TV.

TVs Will Be Connected and More Intelligent
Connected TVs that offer streaming services over the Internet will be as common as 1080p HDTVs however, with a rumored Apple “iTV” waiting in the wings we expect to see TVs that go beyond “smart” and become “intelligent” TVs. We’ve heard rumors of intelligent TVs that might incorporate Siri-like voice commands or tablet-based recommendation engines. We’ll be curious to see how prominent Google TV is considering Google charmain Eric Schmidt’s boost that their TV OS would be in the majority of sets by next summer.

Bragging Rights Will Go to Largest and Thinnest Sets
Ever since Sony showed off their 11-inch OLED TV at CES a few years back and subsequently discontinued it, the promise of a large screen OLED TV has eluded consumers. This year we get closer to that promise with the world’s first 55-inch OLED TV from LG Electronics. What’s so special about OLED TVs? Aside from brilliant colors and high contrast ratios, the emissive OLEDs provide perfect black levels, bright whites, microsecond response time (no blurring) and low power all in a super thin panel. Unfortunately LG’s new OLED TVs aren’t going to be cheap with a rumored price of $8,000.

Microsoft’s Last Year at CES Could be Its Best Year
Microsoft announced that this CES would be the last year it will have a major presence at the show and we’ll miss the Ballmer keynote and expansive booth but we wonder why Microsoft is calling it quits at CES just when it looks like they might be gaining momentum in the consumer market. Windows 8 which is designed to run on smartphones and tablets and even runs on ARM chips goes into beta in February. Windows 8’s Metro UI will also look good on the new wave of Ultrabooks expected to be in plentiful supply at this year’s show. Furthermore, Xbox is turning into a capable set-top box and Kinect is not only a very popular gaming device but there are rumors we could see Kinect-type features show up in TV controls. So with all this consumer electronics momentum, why is Microsoft bailing out of next year’s show?

Looking Like a Good Year for Intel and Ultrabooks
Although Intel didn’t have much success when it tried to establish a portable computing form factor with its UMPC and MID devices, it’s current answer to Apple’s MacBook Air is having a much more enthusiastic response. Ultrabooks should be in many booths and hotel suites at this year’s CES from vendors including Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, Fujitsu, and more. As Intel prepares to deliver Ivy Bridge, its 22nm successor to its 45nm Sandy Bridge processors, we might even see an Ivy Bridge-powered prototype ultrabook at this year’s show.


First Intel-Powered Smartphone
With smartphones currently dominated by Qualdroid (Qualcomm/Android) we might get a peek at an actual Intel-powered LG phone. Phone news typically comes a month later at February’s Mobile World Congress but it looks like Intel’s CEO, Paul Otellini will reveal its first Medfield SoC-powered Android smartphone at CES.

Apple Accessories and Apps Will Continue to Take Over CES
As Macworld Expo exhibitors have migrated to CES the iLounge Pavilion at CES has grown substantially. This year we expect to see the gathering of Apple and Android phone and tablet accessories and app providers grow larger than ever. Actually from early reports, it looks like Macworld Expo now called Macworld/iWorld may be seeing something of a resurgence as the size of the iPhone and iPad aftermarket continue to explode.

URL: http://www.retrevo.com/content/blog/2012/01/retrevos-ces-2012-predictions


About Retrevo
Retrevo.com - one of TIME Magazine's "Best Sites of 2011" - is a consumer electronics shopping site that helps people shop for the gadgets that meet their needs. Since its founding in 2006, the Silicon Valley based company has become the second largest consumer electronics review site in the world. Retrevo has pioneered the science of online product discovery using artificial intelligence (A.I.) that analyzes 100 million plus, real-time data points, from across the web so shoppers always discover the best consumer electronics for their needs, based on real-time technology trends, buzz, values and sentiments. 

 


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