CES 2010 – why Apple is the real star of the show

CES 2010

apple_tablet.jpgWho is likely to be the biggest name at this year’s CES? Microsoft? Sony? Google?

Well the irony is that the biggest star of this year’s CES is not actually going to be in Vegas. The agenda for CES 2010 has been completely set by Apple.

Instead of concentrating on their own innovations many companies will be trying to second guess what Apple is likely to do and deliver product that it hopes will capture a bit of the Cupertino company’s glitz.

Ok so the show hasn’t officially kicked off, but many of the hottest products that have been discussed so far are rivals, or in fact complimentary to Apple’s series of gadgets.

For starters even though it hasn’t officially announced its iTablet or iSlate CES is likely to be awash with lookalike devices.

Of course CES has seen hundreds of tablets before. Microsoft launched one as far back as 2001. But the big difference is that the new generation of tablets are designed to work around a web browser rather than deliver applications found on existing computers. Sure they will play music and video, but their core function will revolve around the web and the apps that will inevitably be created for them.

Makers will be looking to attack the iTablet on its weak spot – and that is likely to be price. With a rumoured cost for the Apple device of around $800, expect to see tablets coming in at half that figure and maybe lower. There is sure to be hundreds of knock offs from China/Taiwan based companies.

Apple’s tablet is also likely to cast a shadow over the launch of the many ereaders that will be unveiled at the show. The new generation of ereaders will have wireless facilities, a web browser and colour screens, which means that they will indirectly compete with the Apple tablet.

All this tablet hype does make me wonder what would happen if Apple suddenly said that it was not going to deliver a tablet. Would so many companies still be working to deliver their own? Would the tablet still be the hottest product area of 2010? I think you know the answer to that question.

The iPhone will also be a huge influence on any new smartphones that debut at CES. The idea of launching a high end mobile now without a touch screen and an app store seems madness.

Finally CES is going to be awash with iPhone hi-fi systems and gadgets as well as a million new apps. iPhone apps are now so mainstream in the United States that individual ones even get their own TV commercials. The Augmented Reality apps, which let you overlay a layer of digital content over external reality as seen through your phone’s camera, will be huge.

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