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CES 2009 Wrap-Up

The 2009 Consumer Electronics Show wrapped up over the weekend, with an estimated attendance of 110,000, down from the 130,000 attendees that were projected last fall (and the audited total of 141,000 from 2008). The exhibitor count was about the same as last year, around 2,700, with some 300 new exhibitors. As an attendee, the size seemed just right -- the lines were certainly shorter and more reasonable, which gave more time to see the show and chat with exhibitors.

I've updated my CES Summary article-in-progress with more details on trends and products.

The big news at the show was the resurrection of Palm with the Palm Pre smartphone, due out later this year. As shown by the jump in Palm's stock price, the Pre looks really interesting. If the final design and implementation really works as suggested by the demo, it's going to be a strong alternative in the gap between the Apple iPhone as a music player and the RIM Blackberry as a business tool.

Other home CE trends included thinner HDTVs that can hang like frames on the wall, steps toward 3D TV, connected TV and Internet services, and netbooks as sub-notebook communication devices (including the new Sony P-series).

And portable devices also saw further integration of functions and connectivity, from the LG Watch Phone to the Sony DSC-G3 digital camera with Wi-Fi.

Even with the economic downturn, companies can't just stop releasing new products, so we'll continue to see new technology, new product concepts, and line extensions, particularly to add lower-priced alternatives to existing products.

Another strong theme was Green, in all its possible aspects -- manufacturing with fewer and greener components, less and more ecological packaging, lower power demands, solar (and wireless) power, and end-of-live recycleability. While consumers are looking for green products, and even say they will pay more for them, this effort also helps manufactures reduce costs, from manufacturing to shipping.

Also check out the Links section in my CES Summary article for lots of links to wrap-up coverage, including several awards programs, commentary, and blog wrap-ups. You also can catch videos of the sessions, and more informal video and photo reports on new products.

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This entry posted on January 14, 2009.

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