Major Manufacturers Promote Wares (And Lots Of Tablets) At CES
January 5, 2011 at 7:39 PM (PT)
Several companies took advantage of Press Day at the INTERNATIONAL CES in LAS VEGAS WEDNESDAY (1/5) to show off their latest products and innovations.
MOTOROLA MOBILITY, the device manufacturing company resulting from the split of MOTOROLA into two entities, held its press conference on WEDNESDAY afternoon, with Chief Marketing Officer BILL OGLE unveiling the "new" company's slogan, "Live. M-powered," and CEO/Chairman SANJAY JHA discussing "the world's most powerful smartphone," the Atrix 4G dual-core Android-based LTE smartphone for AT&T, BELL CANADA, and ORANGE, introduced at an AT&T developers' event earlier in the day. VP/Chief Software Engineer SEAUNG CHAU showed off some of the phone's capabilities using a docking station, monitor, and full wireless keyboard, including running a full desktop browser, multiple windows, and ADOBE Flash 10.1; the "Webtop" display on the monitor sports an apps dock at the bottom of the screen in the manner of the APPLE OS X dock. The device also interfaces with a "laptop dock" that connects to the phone. MOTOROLA is also bringing out a Cliq 2 phone for T-MOBILE using the carrier's HSPA+ pseudo-4G data network, with Wi-Fi calling, a slide-out keyboard and 3.7-inch display, available JANUARY 19th, and an LTE phone, the Bionic, for VERIZON. And the company's tablet, the Xoom, will run the new "Honeycomb" Android tablet OS and will be upgradeable to LTE.
INTEL unveiled its new line of processors, the second-generation Core chips, which CEO PAUL OTELLINI called a signal of "the next evolution of the PC." The chips, code-named "Sandy Bridge," offer dual or quad core architecture with integrated graphics, allowing for speedier transcoding of media, a capability shown off by an animated MOOLY EDEN, VP/GM of INTEL's PC Client Group. OTELLINI said that the new chips will represent over a third of the company's 2011 revenues.
PIONEER announced an expansion of its line of in-car entertainment systems with new navigation system models that offer AHA RADIO's Internet streaming service and connect with PANDORA through its iPhone app. PANDORA is also being offered on more models at lower prices than its first two PANDORA-enabled models.
LG ELECTRONICS focused on its "Smart TV" line of Internet-connected televisions and featured its previously-announced new premium smartphones and appliances at its CES press conference in LAS VEGAS WEDNESDAY morning. The presentation featured the company's new Smart TV interface and "Media Link" service and apps (a sample screen offering apps for ADAM CAROLLA's ACE BROADCASTING and LEO LAPORTE's TWiT podcasts indicated that audio will be available in the service). LG will market a set-top box ("Smart TV Upgrader") similar to the ROKU or BOXEE boxes to allow any HDMI-capable set to add its service. A brief presentation showed off the company's premium OPTIMUS 2X smartphone with a dual-core 1 GHz processor and 1080p HDMI video output, and the OPTIMUS BLACK ultra-thin phone. Also on display were a mobile 3D TV and "smart appliances" connected to the Internet. "GLEE" star JANE LYNCH introduced the presentation in a short video before LG USA VP JOHN TAYLOR took the stage; the company indicated that it will announce a new tablet at the show on THURSDAY (1/6); late WEDNESDAY, T-MOBILE posted a video on YOUTUBE showing a "G-Slate by GOOGLE" made by LG for its HSPA+ data network.
Sony All-In On 3D
SONY's presentation, featuring "THE GREEN HORNET" stars SETH ROGEN and JAY CHOW with SONY Chairman, CEO, and President HOWARD STRINGER pulling onto the stage in the GREEN HORNET car, concentrated on the company's commitment to 3D television and added news about an IP-delivered cable TV video-on-demand deal with TIME WARNER. SONY will roll out televisions capable of delivering TIME WARNER's video-on-demand without a set-top box using the Internet, STRINGER said. STRINGER said that SONY is preparing a 3D network, 3DNET, with DISCOVERY and IMAX as partners. Deputy President HIROSHI YOSHIYOKA displayed prototypes of a new 3D headset and a portable 3D Blu-Ray player with a glasses-free display, and said that glasses-free TV sets, including a 24.5-inch OLED panel and 46- and 56-inch LCD panels, are in development. STRINGER and U.S. Consumer Electronics division President/COO PHIL MOLYNEUX also discussed the company's GOOGLE TV Internet-enabled televisions and set-top devices.
Also on tap for SONY are new all-in-one desktop computers and a 3D VAIO laptop, plus new BLOGGIE compact camcorders, including a 3D model, and a 3D still camera. The SONY ERICSSON Xperia Arc smartphone was displayed, with a 4.2-inch display, HDMI-out, and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). And SONY Computer Entertainment President/CEO KAZ HARAI said a line of tablets is "currently in development" at SONY, although he did not officially unveil the long-awaited PSP phone.
ASUS and VELOCITY MICRO were also on the tablet bandwagon, with ASUS introducing several models of Android tablets, including two with physical slider keyboards, and VELOCITY MICRO offering three new Cruz tablets at 7-, 8-, and 10.1-inches.
SHARP also announced that its GALAPAGOS tablet, currently available in JAPAN, will be released in the U.S. in the second half of 2011.
PANASONIC's entry into the tablet field is another set of Android devices in 4-, 7-, and 10-inch models under its VIERA line.
SAMSUNG unveiled a new line of TVs with apps, digital appliances, a new "world's thinnest" Blu-Ray player, and the addition of CBS television shows to SAMSUNG's Media Hub for smartphones and the GALAXY TAB, the latter of which the company said would be available in a Wi-Fi only version in first quarter 2011. The company is also offering an Android-based iPod Touch competitor, the GALAXY Player, with a 4-inch touchscreen, and a convertible notebook/tablet.
AUDIOVOX concentrated on lines of iPhone, smartphone, and iPad chargers and docks under the RCA and AUDIO RESEARCH brands as well as "personal sound amplifiers" for those with hearing loss and lines of portable and car DVD and Blu-Ray players and combination reverse cameras/backup signals.
MICROSOFT's big announcement involved confirmation that the next version of WINDOWS will be able to operate on ARM processors. The move, showed off by WINDOWS division President STEVEN SINOFSKY at CES TODAY (1/3), means that WINDOWS is likely to show up on a wider range of devices such as tablets. SINOFSKY said that the company is working on supporting new "System on a Chip" (SoC) hardware and that NVIDIA, QUALCOMM, and TEXAS INSTRUMENTS are working on SoC designs using ARM processors.
Later, MICROSOFT CEO STEVE BALLMER's keynote presentation at the International CES WEDNESDAY evening (1/5) showed off some of his company's latest additions, including the use of the Kinect motion capture controller for the XBOX 360 as a way to control HULU Plus (new to XBOX) and NETFLIX; "Avatar Kinect" for tracking facial movements for a player's avatar on screen and for "chatting" with others via the XBOX; gaming integration of WINDOWS PHONE 7 with the XBOX; and the INTERNET EXPLORER 9 beta. He also touched upon the earlier announcements that WINDOWS 8 will be enabled for use on devices using ARM processors and of a new version of the Surface touch technology.
Panel Looks At Development Of Media Apps For Smartphones, Tablets
At a panel on smartphone and tablet apps, ASSOCIATED PRESS' JOHN DE GUZMAN said that AP prefers platforms that allow for delivery of news alerts, saying, "with breaking news, you want a alert system... we encourage all platforms to develop that." NPR DIGITAL MEDIA SVP/GM KINSEY WILSON said that NPR is looking at HTML5 as a Flash substitute, but ADOBE's JOHN SHAPIRO defended Flash, saying that Flash is "accessible technology," noting that 19 ot the top 20 device manufacturers (with the obvious exception of APPLE) are working with ADOBE to add Flash, and adding that Flash is "not the only thing that doesn't work on the iOS platform" (to which moderator TED COHEN of TAG STRATEGIC LLC joked, "alarm clock").