Tablets, Competing Form Factors to Dominate CES 2013

Technology analysts predict convergence of smartphones, tablets and touchscreen computers will capture attention at CES 2013.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show this year, technology analysts are predicting high drama as tablets collide with laptops and smartphones. Mobile touchscreeen computing is at the leading edge of this new era of convergence that has analysts looking for a more dynamic show than last year when many predicted that other than new Ultrabooks the show would be remembered for mere iterations on existing products.

Expert Panel at Consumer Electronic Show

"We need to move the conversation beyond speeds and feeds and cores and all the rest. Maybe the new CE in CES is 'consumer experience' versus 'consumer electronics' this year," said John Jackson, vice president at IDC.

Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group, anticipates that in addition to more integration across different displays in your car, home, PC and phone, attention at CES 2013 will center on two points of conflict.

“You’ve got the 7-inch tablet and the 4-inch smartphone that are starting to ram together on the one end and we’ve got the 13.3-inch notebook and the 11.6-inch tablet ramming together on the other end,” he said.

This year, convergence will really happen with notebooks and tablets, said Enderle. “A lot of people are arguing that you can get one device that can do both things,” he said, referring to new Ultrabook computers that convert into tablets.

John Jackson, vice president at IDC, expects to see the halls of CES full of what he calls convergence experiments. “Convertibles beg the question of the extent to which tablets will remain a distinct or discretely identifiable category over time or whether or not they’re just a logical evolution of the PC,” he said.

“At CES, everyone is there trying to get a foothold onto what is the next new big thing, and tablets are one of the hottest segments in the market, said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies. “We’ll sell close to 200 million tablets in 2013.”

Volume and size matter, and that’s what will be different this year at CES, said Bajarin. “Attention is turning away from last year’s 10-inch tablets to this year’s smaller-screened tablets,” he said. “Apple’s introduction of the iPad Mini pretty much justified the fact that 7-inch is legit and now consumers are starting to focus on that. When you go to a 7-inch tablet, you know that it is for consumption only and doesn’t cross over to productivity, and as a result this year it’s going to become clear to consumers that if they buy a 7-inch tablet they still really do need a laptop.”

Trend Spotting at CES

“The PC form factor is still very much morphing into what it needs to be from where it was,” said Mike Feibus, principal analyst at TechKnowledge. He believes that some computer makers could bundle their computers with tablets.

“It makes sense to bundle a few tablets with an all-in-one,” he said, adding this is where the all-in-one could function like the home cloud feeding content quickly to tablets around the house.

“Clearly, television is the one area where we’re going to be focusing much more on the higher-resolution screens and not so much on 3-D or Blu-ray or some of the stuff we’ve focused on in past years,” said Enderle. “The cool new thing this year is a kind of ‘surface for you’ — these 18- to 27-inch portable all-in-one [computers] that you can put down flat on a table and play surface games like air hockey to board games to pool.”

Bajarin believes consumer cloud services and home servers are becoming more relevant to people who want to store entertainment and personal content safely and have it easily accessible. “This is something we’ll see become more important at CES,” he said.

“The thing I’m watching for is a return to quality in audio,” said Feibus. “In the 1970s and 1980s people went for high quality until the focus turned to portability with MP3s and iPods. Now we’re getting to a place where we can put together portability and quality, and we’re already seeing this with high-end headphones.”

Spotlight Shifts from Las Vegas to Barcelona?

The tidal shift toward mobile computing brings into question the future significance of CES, according to Feibus.

“The consumer electronics landscape is going through a lot of changes and CES is not immune,” he said. With regard to tablets and smartphones, he said that “the focus is moving away from CES toward Mobile World Congress” held in Barcelona, Spain.

With Microsoft stepping away from the limelight after nearly a decade of kicking off the show, CES 2013 marks a significant changing of the guard, said Feibus.

“Qualcomm has entered into the fray, and they’re the silicon provider nobody really knows and they’re trying to change that [perception], but it’s ironic that their world [smartphones and tablets] is moving to Barcelona and they’re planning a spot at CES,” he said.

Jackson claims that it’s essential for companies participating at CES to change their approach.

“Traditional hardware companies and the companies that support them recognize the primacy of the user experience,” said Jackson. “We need to move the conversation beyond speeds and feeds and cores and all the rest. Maybe the new CE in CES is ‘consumer experience’ versus ‘consumer electronics’ this year.

“We all understand that experience continuity across multiple screens is the holy grail of the future, so every year at CES I think we need to look closer at what needs to be true for these experiences to become commercial realities and who is in the best position to enable them.”

Tablets, Competing Form Factors to Dominate CES 2013

Technology analysts predict convergence of smartphones, tablets and touchscreen computers will capture attention at CES 2013.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show this year, technology analysts are predicting high drama as tablets collide with laptops and smartphones. Mobile touchscreeen computing is at the leading edge of this new era of convergence that has analysts looking for a more dynamic show than last year when many predicted that other than new Ultrabooks the show would be remembered for mere iterations on existing products.

Expert Panel at Consumer Electronic Show

"We need to move the conversation beyond speeds and feeds and cores and all the rest. Maybe the new CE in CES is 'consumer experience' versus 'consumer electronics' this year," said John Jackson, vice president at IDC.

Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group, anticipates that in addition to more integration across different displays in your car, home, PC and phone, attention at CES 2013 will center on two points of conflict.

“You’ve got the 7-inch tablet and the 4-inch smartphone that are starting to ram together on the one end and we’ve got the 13.3-inch notebook and the 11.6-inch tablet ramming together on the other end,” he said.

This year, convergence will really happen with notebooks and tablets, said Enderle. “A lot of people are arguing that you can get one device that can do both things,” he said, referring to new Ultrabook computers that convert into tablets.

John Jackson, vice president at IDC, expects to see the halls of CES full of what he calls convergence experiments. “Convertibles beg the question of the extent to which tablets will remain a distinct or discretely identifiable category over time or whether or not they’re just a logical evolution of the PC,” he said.

“At CES, everyone is there trying to get a foothold onto what is the next new big thing, and tablets are one of the hottest segments in the market, said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies. “We’ll sell close to 200 million tablets in 2013.”

Volume and size matter, and that’s what will be different this year at CES, said Bajarin. “Attention is turning away from last year’s 10-inch tablets to this year’s smaller-screened tablets,” he said. “Apple’s introduction of the iPad Mini pretty much justified the fact that 7-inch is legit and now consumers are starting to focus on that. When you go to a 7-inch tablet, you know that it is for consumption only and doesn’t cross over to productivity, and as a result this year it’s going to become clear to consumers that if they buy a 7-inch tablet they still really do need a laptop.”

Trend Spotting at CES

“The PC form factor is still very much morphing into what it needs to be from where it was,” said Mike Feibus, principal analyst at TechKnowledge. He believes that some computer makers could bundle their computers with tablets.

“It makes sense to bundle a few tablets with an all-in-one,” he said, adding this is where the all-in-one could function like the home cloud feeding content quickly to tablets around the house.

“Clearly, television is the one area where we’re going to be focusing much more on the higher-resolution screens and not so much on 3-D or Blu-ray or some of the stuff we’ve focused on in past years,” said Enderle. “The cool new thing this year is a kind of ‘surface for you’ — these 18- to 27-inch portable all-in-one [computers] that you can put down flat on a table and play surface games like air hockey to board games to pool.”

Bajarin believes consumer cloud services and home servers are becoming more relevant to people who want to store entertainment and personal content safely and have it easily accessible. “This is something we’ll see become more important at CES,” he said.

“The thing I’m watching for is a return to quality in audio,” said Feibus. “In the 1970s and 1980s people went for high quality until the focus turned to portability with MP3s and iPods. Now we’re getting to a place where we can put together portability and quality, and we’re already seeing this with high-end headphones.”

Spotlight Shifts from Las Vegas to Barcelona?

The tidal shift toward mobile computing brings into question the future significance of CES, according to Feibus.

“The consumer electronics landscape is going through a lot of changes and CES is not immune,” he said. With regard to tablets and smartphones, he said that “the focus is moving away from CES toward Mobile World Congress” held in Barcelona, Spain.

With Microsoft stepping away from the limelight after nearly a decade of kicking off the show, CES 2013 marks a significant changing of the guard, said Feibus.

“Qualcomm has entered into the fray, and they’re the silicon provider nobody really knows and they’re trying to change that [perception], but it’s ironic that their world [smartphones and tablets] is moving to Barcelona and they’re planning a spot at CES,” he said.

Jackson claims that it’s essential for companies participating at CES to change their approach.

“Traditional hardware companies and the companies that support them recognize the primacy of the user experience,” said Jackson. “We need to move the conversation beyond speeds and feeds and cores and all the rest. Maybe the new CE in CES is ‘consumer experience’ versus ‘consumer electronics’ this year.

“We all understand that experience continuity across multiple screens is the holy grail of the future, so every year at CES I think we need to look closer at what needs to be true for these experiences to become commercial realities and who is in the best position to enable them.”