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BLOG: CES 2013: 7 dirty little secrets about the year's biggest tech show

JR Raphael | Jan. 8, 2013
Got gadgets? 2013 is officially underway, and in the world of tech, that means it's time for the Consumer Electronics Show -- the largest, loudest, and lustiest tech show of the year.

(Sorry, Pantech and Huawei.)

5. The most interesting gadgets shown off at CES are usually the ones with the least real-world appeal.

"smart fork"? An Android-powered oven? The stuff that's the most fun to ogle on the CES floor is also the stuff that -- let's face it -- no one is actually gonna buy, let alone use, outside of an electronics convention.

6. Companies are going to use CES to discuss what makes them look good -- and avoid discussing what makes them look bad.

Case in point: LG's CES press conference this morning. The company talked plenty about its "groundbreaking" and expanding partnership with Google butfailed to address the giant white elephant in the room: the increasingly embarrassing state of Nexus 4 manufacturing and availability. It's a harsh reminder that in reality, these CES sessions are little more than polished advertisements.

7. CES isn't just about us. It's about business.

This might be the biggest one of all: The purpose of CES isn't simply to wow us regular folks with shiny new gadgets; it's to give manufacturers, distributors, and investors the opportunity to catch each others' eyes and get deals cooking behind closed doors. When you keep that in mind, some of the week's silliness makes a lot more sense.

All said and told, CES may be a bit of a circus -- but that doesn't mean it isn't entertaining to watch. And with any luck, a few standout stars will manage to emerge from the week's all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of electronic excess.

As for Android? We may not see the "next big thing" over these next several days, but fear not: The year has barely begun. Mobile World Congress is right around the corner, followed by Google I/O in May and probably a handful of manufacturer-specific events in between.

So keep your eyes open and your ears attached: When it comes to Android in 2013, we're just getting started.

JR Raphael is a contributing editor at Computerworld and PC World, and a regular contributor to numeorus other print and online publications.


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