Apple is not exhibiting officially at the CES, but instead has chosen to send about 250 engineers to attend what is, arguably, the world’s biggest consumer electronics show.
I think this post by Darrell Etherington absolutely nails it. Apple doesn’t need a presence at CES. Infact, going by the news that I’ve been reading about the fading popularity of CES, it is they who really would like Apple to attend the even and add some glamour.
The reason Apple doesn’t need to be at CES is because, while, Apple is now a consumer electronics company, they don’t really create the buzz around their products through shows like CES. They have people like you and I, the Apple faithful, to do that.
Of course, you can argue that Apple is still present everywhere at the CES. iPhones, iPads, iPods and Macs are everywhere, either being used by the attendees or as part of the hundreds of docks and accessories that everyone is displaying. There is also the case of the competition trying to copy Apple’s designs and technology. I’d even go as far as to argue that this year is probably Apple’s biggest year at CES, both in terms of exposure and interest.
Apple changed the smartphone landscape in one sweep 5 years ago when they released the iPhone and another competitor can absolutely come and announce something so dramatically different and powerful that it’ll make those iPhones and iPads seem ancient. That is something Apple has to watch out for and that is the reason for the presence of those 250 engineers.
It isn’t Apple-like to follow the industry, but keeping tabs on where the industry is headed helps Apple refine and hone it’s vision of the future.
As for me – I’m absolutely waiting for what 2012 has in store for us Apple aficionados. iPhone 5, iPad 3, Apple TV and who knows what else !