[LINK] LA Consumer Electronics Show

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Tue Jan 5 11:52:21 AEDT 2010

feedType=nl&feedName=ustechnology   (snipped)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Technology leaders from Microsoft to Intel and 
Nokia will face new rivals; 3D-TV will be all the rage; and a flurry of 
glitzy wireless devices -- from e-readers to ever-smaller personal 
computers -- will make their debuts.

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week promises to showcase 
new battlegrounds in technology.

Portable computing devices of many flavors will be front and center as 
the continued blurring of the line between the smartphone and PC causes 
new rivals to duke it out on unfamiliar ground.

Shipments of netbooks, which skyrocketed last year, are expected to 
approach 40 million units in 2010 as more consumers take to the mini-
laptops designed for Web-surfing and email on the go, according to 

And a new wave of even smaller laptops -- which some are calling 
smartbooks -- running on low-power, ARM-based mobile phone chips from 
companies like Qualcomm Inc and Nvidia Corp are expected to emerge at CES.

If consumers warm to these devices, they would represent a threat to the 
Intel-Microsoft dominance of the PC ecosystem, as these devices cannot 
run Windows PC operating systems.

"This is the first year we can really take the ARM-based processors 
seriously," said Wedbush Morgan analyst Patrick Wang. But he added that 
these devices may take a year or more to catch on, and noted that Intel's 
new Pineview Atom chip is getting good traction in the newest crop of 

ARM chips also power e-readers like Amazon.com Inc's Kindle. Forrester 
expects 6 million e-readers to be sold in the United States in 2010, and 
a slew of competing devices will be on display at CES.

But analysts say e-reader prices need to fall considerably in order to 
gain widespread adoption from consumers. 

2009 saw the explosion of the smartphone market, led by Apple Inc's 
iPhone, Research in Motion Ltd's BlackBerry and multiple devices based on 
Google Inc's Android software. Long-time cellphone leader Nokia has found 
itself scrambling to adapt.

Research house Gartner expects the smartphone market to nearly triple by 
2012 to 525 million units.

This week's CES could find itself upstaged by Google, which is widely 
expected to unveil its first own-branded phone at a separate event at its 
headquarters on Tuesday.

Top TV makers including Sony Corp, Panasonic, LG Electronics and Samsung 
Electronics are expected to show off their 3D TVs, although consumer 
interest is still uncertain given the cost of accessories like glasses 
and the lack of sports programing.

"3D is a big deal .... Every major TV manufacturer is putting on a 3D 
push," said Jason Oxman, a spokesman for CEA. 

He compared the pace of adoption of 3D TV to that of high-definition TV, 
which can now be found in half of all homes in the United States, 
according to Forrester Research.

The Consumer Electronics Association, which runs CES, is expecting around 
110,000 attendees, down slightly from last year. Roughly 2,500 exhibitors 
are expected, versus 2,700 a year ago.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Richard Chang)

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