Last year’s CES was all about the 3D TV.  They were everywhere. This year?  The tvs may still get a bit of hype, but the direction has moved.

4 years ago Apple changed the conversation with the release of the iPhone.  Everyone instantly switched their smart phone strategy to apps and a touch screen.  This year, it’s all about the tab.  Not only is “everyone” releasing one, but everyone is comparing it to the iPad.

Motorola even went so far as to say the iPad was just a big iPhone when teasing their new Evolution tablet. .  I dont know if they were trying to diss the Apple tablet with the comparison, but the iPhone was hailed as s that really a negative?  After all, the iPhone has widely been hailed as one of the greatest inventions in history (even more important than the toilet).

Other pitchmen will walk the convention floor saying “It’s like an iPad, but has a camera.” or  “It’s like an iPad, but has memory slots.” “It’s like an iPad, but bigger.”  “It’s like an iPad, but smaller.” etc etc etc

That’s how the pitches will go on the Consumer Electronics Show trade floor in Las Vegas next week. 

But will it matter?

Maybe not.  New entrants to the marketplace will face users who already have iPods with their music on iTunes.  They may even have an iPod Touch with some apps in place.

They’ve made an investment into the app store and introducing a different branded tablet to the roster decreases the ability of all devices to share information and apps.

People new to the tablets will choose whatever they’re familiar with.  Blackberry users will wait for the Playbook, Android users will slide into that camp with the wildcard being the millions who don’t yet have a smart phone.  They may be more willing to try new products and be swayed by flashy features or dramatic price points.

We could be poised for another turf war the likes of VHS v Beta, but I dont think Apple or Google are going away anytime soon. The Apple advantage has been the app store, but everyone else is getting a
reasonable roster, adding sexy features and getting ready to compete on price.

It will be interesting to see what sort of devices Moses will bring to us at CES.

buzz bishop future shop tech blogThis post was originally published at The Future Shop Tech Blog.

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