Reflections from the Floor of CES 2013

Future commercial successes or just cool gadgets?

The Consumer Electronics Show in early January drew over 150,000 people from around the globe and from across the Communications, Media & Technology sectors and beyond. Many new technologies and toys were unveiled, some with commercial potential, others perhaps more exploratory. There are masses of post-CES blogs and reports after and even during the show: “CES 2013: What’s new in TVs” or “The coolest gadgets of CES 2013” or even “Best and worst robots of CES 2013.”

But while end-consumers and ‘gadget-philes’ are of course part of the target of CES exhibitors, the show is also an important bellwether for industry-shaping trends that could emerge in the near future, and that would impact network operators, content producers & aggregators, device manufacturers and many other sectors that use technology.

Several partners from Oliver Wyman’s Communications, Media & Technology (CM&T) practice attended CES 2013 and compared notes afterwards on what stood out in our minds as relevant themes for the industry going forward. This is an informal “report from the field” that is qualitative and opinion-based in nature, consisting of partners’ impressions and interpretations based on an awareness of trends throughout the CM&T industry and beyond, and focused on the potential business impact.  Each section comes with “strategic” questions at the end to help readers as they consider if and how certain trends might affect their respective industries.

Topics Covered:

•    4K. The next HD or the next 3D?  Will more pixels translate into more profits?
•    The set top box is dead, long live the set top box:  the next generation viewing experience.  
•    Home sweet (connected) home:  smart appliances and the household of the future.
•    CES 2013:  car electronics show?  Detroit comes to Las Vegas.
•    Laptops and tablets, a love story:  the 'touching' story of a consumer electronics marriage made in heaven.
•    Bigger really is better:  phablets are here to stay, and they're not getting any smaller.
•    Fabricating a new reality:  will consumr 3D printing really take off?   
•    Consumer electronics no-show:  are Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft missed at CES?

Reflections from the Floor of CES 2013