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Once again most of the free world has descended on Las Vegas to check out the latest from technology companies big and small at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. And once again, Compete is here to help those companies understand how consumers use digital tools to research, select and buy all those great gadgets. The show officially kicked off this morning and already some key themes are emerging:
- LTE Devices: We saw a lot of 4G devices launched last year at CES, but 4G will be even bigger this year – with LTE devices from AT&T, Verizon and now Sprint on display all week. On Monday both Samsung and Pantech announced several new LTE devices, including the 5.3 inch Samsung Note (creating the “phablet” device category) and the $50 Pantech Burst (which is the first value LTE device).
- Windows Smartphones: As we wrote back in August, wireless carriers, consumers and even (non-Apple) OEMs will benefit from a strong alternative to today’s iOS/Android smartphone OS duopoly. After making big waves in other markets, Nokia demonstrated its commitment to the North American market Monday with a suite of new Windows Devices. The best of the bunch, the Lumia 900 with AT&T, will compete with the iPhone with its slick UI, sharp camera and robust battery. And oh yeah, it is also LTE.
- Embedded Devices: As the cost of wireless modules continues to decline, OEMs are releasing more and more “connected” versions of everyday products. We expect to see a wide range of wireless speakers, toys, baby monitors and more.
- Accessories: Accessories are big, big business today. According to recent Compete analysis, there are between 2.5 and 4.5 million accessory-related search queries a month. And as carriers and OEM seek to capture a bigger share of the accessory market from retailers, this market is only going to heat up. In addition to standard cases and covers, this CES will feature high-end accessories like head-phones, styluses, and camera attachments.
Jen Russell, Danielle Bulger and myself will all be at CES – drop us a line at @Compete to tell us what you think about CES 2012!
Chris Collins leads the Technology & Entertainment Practice for Millward Brown Digital. In this role, Chris provides data-driven insights and strategic guidance to leading retailers, telecommunications carriers, consumer electronics manufacturers, and their marketing partners. Prior to Compete, Chris was a senior member of the Consumer Wireless team at Yankee Group Research and worked as a management consultant for Monitor Group and IBM Business Services. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn.