Tecmark at CES 2012: Day 3 Onwards

Having now returned from CES 2012 in Las Vegas, I’ve had time to reflect on what we saw and learned during the past week’s exhibitions, events and after-parties.

Despite the enormous volume of new technology launched at the event, Tecmark’s main reason for attending CES was to discover new trends that will impact our Mobile and Digital Marketing business.  Reassuringly, mobile phones have penetrated every corner of CES across all technology sectors.  From in-car technology through home appliances and entertainment products, mobile phones and in particular the Android operating system are almost omnipresent.  For many, the mobile phone is the portal to the digital world and CES demonstrated that this trend is only continuing to grow.

When Tecmark started developing mobile applications and mobile-optimised websites a few years ago to complement our marketing services, we felt that technology and digital marketing were becoming ever more closely linked and that our continued success in fields such as SEO and online advertising would hinge on our ability to understand and take advantage of the new ways in which we access the internet and content in general.  CES 2012 has only strengthened our conviction in this strategy.  We’ve returned to the UK with increased confidence and plentiful ideas – accompanied with severe sleep deprivation as well…

On the mobile side of things, our main take-aways from CES are that Apple continues to be a thought-leader in the field with Android’s new Version 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) demonstrating Google’s renewed effort to catch up with Apple’s iOS and show that Android can be both beautiful and functional.  While Android has become very close to iOS, Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, with its Metro interface, is giving users something different to consider – a fresh perspective.

An Intel engineer demonstrates their reference tablet running Windows 8

Despite having a large exhibition stand to promote their new devices, RIM (BlackBerry) failed to have any significant impact at CES in my opinion. Instead, it made up part of the background ‘noise’ at the event behind the other major exhibitors at the event that delivered meaningful announcements that captured our imagination – Intel, Microsoft, LG and Motorola to name a few.  BlackBerry’s new launches appeared to have less impact at the event than a dancing robot unveiled by Justin Bieber.

Grown men battle for photos of Justin Bieber at a Robotics demo

Microsoft Windows 8 was shown on several devices on the event and we have to admit it looks pretty awesome.  As Windows 8 platform rolls out towards the end of this year with the obvious advantages to businesses using Microsoft software throughout their organisation, BlackBerry’s long-serving USP of enterprise-grade email support starts to look a little weak alongside their otherwise uninspiring product range.

Predictions for 2012

Based on what we’ve seen at CES 2012, I offer the following predictions for the coming year:

  • Microsoft becomes cool again: Now that Microsoft have realised the importance of satisfying both the consumer and enterprise markets, Microsoft Windows 8 will allow Microsoft to ‘turn the corner’ and re-establish itself at the forefront of the technology marketplace with a renewed brand that resonates with the cool kids and IT Pros alike.
  • x86 vs ARM: The battle between the rival x86 (Intel) and ARM processor technologies will reach boiling point this year.  Intel’s new x86 (traditionally used in desktop PCs, but now poised for release into the mobile market) and the competing ARM technology (used in most mobile devices including Apple’s iPhone and most Android devices) will push the boundaries of what is possible on a mobile device. They’ll allow users to run enterprise-level software programs on their mobile and tablet devices.  The distinction between a mobile device and high-powered desktop PC will be increasingly blurred and for many people the need for multiple devices will be a decision of screen size alone rather than capability or performance.
  • Android takes over the world: Android will grow exponentially across a multitude of devices (not just mobile phones) as manufacturers take advantage of the openness and zero-cost of the platform.