Summits Yellow

Closing the Door on CES 2012

Alex Spencer

This week, CES has dominated the headlines across the technology world, and it's been no exception here at Mobile Marketing. As the show winds down, what better time to cast an eye over the week's mobile announcements?

Of course, there have been plenty of handsets announced, but one in particular stood out – Huawei's Ascend Mate, which boasts an enormous 6.1" screen. It's the largest phablet device yet, and one which begs the question: how big does a phablet have to be before it's just a tablet which can make calls?

Meanwhile, Samsung's flexible display prototypes hinted at what smartphones of the future might look like. The plastic Youma screens can be folded, bent or rolled up, meaning it could be possible to have a tablet which folds up into a tablet, or a smartphone you can store behind your ear.

M2M highlights

Frankly, on the mobile device side, that's about as big as it gets. That's completely understandable - after all, CES isn't a mobile show. It's about the wider range of consumer electronics, as the name suggests. Historically, the VCR, CD player, Xbox and HDTV are all products which made their debut at CES. Other highlights of the show this year included Lenovo's 29” table PC, NVIDIA's Android-powered portable console, and an 'intelligent fork'. So it makes sense that some of the most interesting announcements fell within the remit of M2M.

Ford opened its Developer Program, inviting developers to create voice-controlled apps for its cars – and within 48 hours, had received over 1,000 registrations, according to a TechCrunch report.

At its booth, Samsung was showing off its T9000 smart refrigerator, which features built-in apps which can be used on its LCD screen, including calendar and weather apps, as well as Evernote, replacing the traditional post-its stuck to the fridge door.

Where CES fits

We're used to talking about Samsung's mobile division round these parts, but - despite announcing the Galaxy S2 Plus - the focus seemed to be on its wider electronics business. As well as its smart fridge, it announced a wealth of TVs, cameras, and washing machines.
With MWC just around the corner, it's worth asking what exactly CES's role is in the mobile landscape.

In terms of what the people stuck at home were talking about, car-related technology won out. According to Crimson Hexagon, it made up 29 per cent of the social media conversation around CES - by comparison, mobile phones generated 12 per cent of discussion, and tablets 11 per cent.

Maybe CES isn't centred around mobile announcements, but mobile has left an undeniable impression over the past few years. This year, Qualcomm were the first mobile company to hold the opening keynote slot, and while Google, Nokia, and Microsoft didn't have a stand on the show floor, they all had some kind of presence at the show - Microsoft in particular seemingly popping up in every other company's keynote.