CES 2012: What Not To Expect

When we cover shows like CES, there’s always an anxiety for us not to overlook or miss something worthy, or simply deserving special attention.  With a small team on the show floor just walking around a vast sea of gadgetry within acres of indoor Vegasness, it’s easy to let things slip by.  If you’re not attending, we’ll do our best to bring you the best of the best.  With that said, we will present you with a list of things you will probably not find at CES 2012, and a few other cool ones that you may stumble upon yourself if you happen to be attending.  Otherwise, let the gadget madness begin.

  •  iPhone 5 and iPad 3 most likely — ok, definitely — will not be shown at CES.  However, LG Display, Toshiba, Sharp may show their 2048×1536 or similar ultra high “retina display” resolution screens made by IGZO technology that is being identified as a possible material choice for the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 screens. Then again, it could be the Gorilla Glass 2.
  • Google’s Nexus Ice Cream Sandwich Tablet won’t show up at CES 2012 because, well, it’s just a rumor.  Originated by some unclear, off-hand remark by Google’s Eric Shmidt. We may see a prototype in some  form, but don’t expect CES to be the launching ground for a smoothing running Google ICS tablet. If the lousy performance of the first “official” ICS tablet is  any indication of things to come, it could be a revisit to the failure of last year’s unveiling of a half-baked Honeycomb running Motorola XOOM.
  •  Google TV, if it even makes any appearance in the form of new set-top boxes running more or less streamlined Android Gingerbread (or Honeycomb), may also be quite short in the “appearance” department. Google is rumored to harness the powers of their YouTube in the form of YouTV or something, but it’s obvious that as long as there is no content to speak of, it’s non-appearance again. CES 2012 will be long gone when these deals with Disney, Anthony Zuiker (creator of C.S.I), Shaq, Tony Hawk, The Onion, Slate, and the Wall Street Journal will materialize.
  • Under their customers’ pressure, manufacturers have started to unlock bootloaders for their Android devices recently. However, don’t expect them to stop locking the bootloaders in the first place: it won’t happen at any of their CES 2012 announcements or presentations, or even later.
  • RIM’s Blackberry Playbook 2 won’t show up at CES 2012. Most probably, won’t show at all.  The next Blackberry OS 2.0 Beta for original Playbooks may show though, but chances are it will be the similar disappointment as the present 2.0 Beta. It’s sad to see how a great piece of hardware running the best embedded real-time OS known is going down the drain.
  • Similarly, don’t look for a 7-incher HP Touchpad GO at CES 2012, or elsewhere. Qualcomm might demo webOS running on some of their newest Snapdragon S4 development platforms, but I doubt it.
  • Color reflective (e-Ink type, only with colors) displays will show up, but again, mostly as prototypes just like they were shown a year ago.  Or two years ago, like in case with Liquavista. Contenders also include Qualcomm’s Mirasol (Kyobo eReader), but even with Hanvon/Ectaco releasing their Jetbook Color as a product beyond its national borders, it could be another act of non-appearance. Pixel Qi technology didn’t move an inch into the color direction since 2010, so we don’t expect to see anything at their exhibit at CES 2012, too.

What to look for at CES? The best batteries from major manufacturers, plus quad-core chips on the Samsung Exynos line, and TMSC production plans may give useful hints for what to expect from Apple’s next great products.

Creative/ZiiLABS might try once again to push their Jaguar tablet prototype based on their mysterious ZMS-20 chip with 48 stem cell graphic co-processors they demoed last spring, but that probably won’t happen.  An extremely mythical product called OLPC 3.0 may show as a claimed $100 8″ tablet, but it’s anybody’s guess whether it’s a real product or not.


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