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Apple's Indirect Presence Fades from CES (techpinions.com) 119

Analyst Ben Bajarin writes: We would go to CES and remark at how Apple's dominance loomed over the show. Vendors of all shapes and sizes were rushing to be a part of the Apple ecosystem. Apple's ecosystem was front and center with everything from iOS apps, to accessories galore for iPhone and iPad, and even companies looking to copy Apple in many ways. The last year or so, things have dramatically changed, and that change is further evident at this year's CES. Gone are the days of Apple's presence, or observably "winning" of CES, even though they are not present. It was impossible to walk the show floor and not see a vast array of interesting innovations which touched the Apple ecosystem in some way. Now it is almost impossible to walk the floor and see any products that touch the Apple ecosystem in any way except for an app on the iOS App Store. The Apple ecosystem is no longer the star of CES but instead things like Amazon's Alexa voice platform, and now Google's assistant voice platform is the clear ecosystem winners of CES.
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Apple's Indirect Presence Fades from CES

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  • Fading Apple Star (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @12:45PM (#55915395)
    Apple's star is fading as they have not had a paradigm-changing product release in a long, long while. One has to wonder how long the $1000 iPhones will carry the stock price?
    • Re:Fading Apple Star (Score:4, Informative)

      by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @01:08PM (#55915553)

      Why would they lower the price while demand is equal or outstripping supply? It’s funny since people like you say this about Apple with every new model and yet they blow away previously sales records nearly ever year. Does it ever tire to be so wrong?

      • ...It’s funny since people like you say this about Apple with every new model... Does it ever tire to be so wrong?

        "people like me?" All I said was that I wondered how long Apple could do it. How can I be wrong when I asked a question? So I'll ask you the same question --- how long do you think Apple can continue to sell very expensive smartphones? And as a corollary, I'll also ask you a follow-up question --- when do you think that Apple will come out of their long, long innovative, paradigm-changing, new product drought?

        • Well Apple refuses to add touch-interfaces to their non-mobile products, so they can't copy the 2-in-1's, and there hasn't been all that much else for them to copy in quite some time. They've attempted to copy Alexa and the Google Assistant with a $400 speaker... but since they haven't found a company to buy that has decent AI that has proven to be pretty much pointless. Maybe they'll acquire the company the founders of Siri created after selling Siri.

          Either way, I'm sure Apple can sit on their laurels and

        • when do you think that Apple will come out of their long, long innovative, paradigm-changing, new product drought?

          That's a difficult question to answer. First let's clarify what we're talking about so we can establish a baseline. Which Apple products do you consider to have been innovative and paradigm-changing?

      • Re:Fading Apple Star (Score:5, Interesting)

        by stabiesoft ( 733417 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @01:35PM (#55915811) Homepage

        And yet when I bought my new phone(moto) from the T-Mo store in late december the manager said he had 20 iphone-x's in the vault. They were not selling, T-Mo had to buy them, apple does not let them discount, and apple does not take them back. I imagine T-Mo is not going to be very happy if they have to eat them. He did say it was quite unusual for an iphone not to sell, so I think the X may have finally hit the "priced too high" mark.

        • So people who buy from the carrier store because it's "cheaper" are reluctant to pay for the most expensive phone.

      • by mikael ( 484 )

        Apple have iPhone stores in every town and city. Same with Android and all the mobile phone shops. Every time I visit, it is like CES with all the accessories and gadgets that can be used.

      • Demand is dropping [bgr.com] a lot faster than expected. And BGR is not an anti-Apple site at all.

        Personally, I'm seeing a lot of my OEM/ODM clients forgoing Apple-specific features because of falling worldwide market share, and ever-increasing difficulties in working with them. For example, audio products. If you were making an Apple-targeted headphone in the last few years, well you're basically out of luck. Between Beats and their own Airpods, Apple is now your number one competitor.

        Lightning port support? G

      • Why would they lower the price while demand is equal or outstripping supply?

        It's fundamental economics. When demand exceeds supply, you work on increasing supply. That has the side-effect of decreasing prices. But the increased sales from the larger supply ends up generating greater aggregate profit than if you artificially limit yourself to only the higher-end of the demand pool. It's why Walmart dominates, while Brookstone is a niche market. Or why Apple is relegated to about 5% of the PC market. I

      • by Jahoda ( 2715225 )
        Why would they lower the price while demand is equal or outstripping supply? It’s funny since people like you say this about Apple with every new model and yet they blow away previously sales records nearly ever year. Does it ever tire to be so wrong?

        Dude, we are literally in a thread where the topic of discussion is that at this year's CES, which for a significant period of time seemed to be almost totally focused on apple and their ecosystem, is now wholly focused on technology from apple compet
      • Why would they lower the price while demand is equal or outstripping supply?

        They wouldn't. Except that demand is not outstripping supply. Apple had some quite severe production issues and yet they are still happily sitting on the shelves everywhere since release date.
        If that wasn't bad enough Apple cut the Foxconn orders for this month too.

        Now excuse me while I go pour some salt on Steve's grave. The reality distortion field is clearly back.

    • Apple's star is fading as they have not had a paradigm-changing product release in a long, long while.

      It's hard to see a paradigm change when it first gets underway...

      I would argue the Apple Watch is one, though it will take people a while to understand that.

      However what is clearly one is FaceID. Because it acts without action, and is actually secure unlike image based facial recognition tech (and works in the dark), it creates a system that can know 100% of the time it's you using the device which makes ma

      • Re:FaceID is one (Score:5, Interesting)

        by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @02:05PM (#55916041)

        ...However what is clearly one is FaceID. ...

        FaceID is a product feature, not a feature product. FaceID is something that is added to other products. The iPod is a product. The iPhone is a product. Apple Watch is a product. FaceID is a feature of a product. But the fact that FaceID is the best you can come up with means you see the drought as well.

        • FaceID is a product feature, not a feature product.

          FaceID is a product feature that turns products into very different products. Someday you will understand.

          No mention of the Watch I see.

          • ...FaceID is a product feature ...

            Yes, it is a product feature. And it changes a product just like other product features change other products. You're really stretching, and that just proves my point, Again.

            No mention of the Watch I see.

            From my message you replied to: "Apple Watch is a product."

            • that just proves my point, Again.

              Nope! Still doesn't do anything for your argument, which lacks understanding of how things are going to change. You are arguing it's just a feature of products, ignoring that sometimes a feature makes a product a different product that what it seems to be.

              Would you argue smartphones were jot a paradigm shift over flip phones? Because you are.

              • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

                I can't tell if you're serious or satirical.

                Are you saying Face ID is similar in relevance to the development of the smart phone?

                In what way does it fundamentally alter our interactions?

      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        A watch can't carry much info on a gui interface, and is too small for anyone to type on. So it will require a VERY good voice interface. The version of Siri I experienced last year won't cut it. And it has to work in noisy environments. You also want to avoid FaceId for this purpose because walking around with your arm in front of your mouth makes you look sick. So you need a good voice id system if you want that kind of interaction.

        Etc. I believe that watches will eventually become important, but th

    • Time to release a USB-C interfaced phone. Lightning has run its course, and time to spawn a round of new peripherals. Profit.

  • by gti_guy ( 875684 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @12:52PM (#55915449)
    CES presence != Market share. Follow the money
    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @01:48PM (#55915931)
      I think the biggest reason for any Apple presence being felt at CES at any time was because they held their own conference during the same week but at a different venue. They've since stopped having that yearly conference and instead just hold their product events when they have some product to announce, which doesn't really sync up with CES any more.
    • Sometimes it does. iOS is losing marketshare [statista.com]. And when 3rd parties stop targeting your platform - it's a good indication that either the market is dying, or they are facing competition from the owner of the platform itself (like it did with Beats and Apple branded headphones/earbuds). Add in making it more and more difficult for small and innovative 3rd parties to support your hardware platform - and companies just naturally turn away. Shrinking market, increased competition from Apple itself, and roadb
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @12:57PM (#55915475)
    for video games outside of the tent pole stuff like GTA/COD/Madden. It's been shown to be ineffective. It's one of the side effects of businesses having much, much better data analytics then they used to. They know what works and what doesn't when it comes to advertising dollars. Sega, for example, massively cut back their ad buys years ago when they found it had little impact on sales.The tent pole franchises only still need it because normal people won't play videogames if you don't remind them to every year. They just forget about it. If you work in the advert business it's got to be all kinds of scary.
    • That would the the one instance where that data is put to good use then. Because everywhere else I'm seeing more advertising, not less.
      • because there's been a big push into digital/online adverts and they have to be obnoxious to have any impact. It looks like the push is coming from old media dying off. [forbes.com] Radio is going away and TV's taking a hit from Netflix/Hulu/etc. e.g. services that are subscription based instead of ad supported. It'll be tough for them to go the cable route and introduce ads on top of the subscription fees since that risks driving folks back to cable. The high cost of internet service combined with the death of Net Neut
  • I have been to CES 4 times in the recent 6 years. It is insanely massive. There are entire floors dedicated to just phone cases. And though I did not go this year, I would have expected those same floors to be filled to the brim with iPhone cases of all varieties.
    I am happy to hear of more Android head mounts for car entertainment systems.
  • by coofercat ( 719737 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @01:20PM (#55915653) Homepage Journal

    The Apple ecosystem is no longer the star of CES but instead things like Amazon's Alexa voice platform, and now Google's assistant voice platform is the clear ecosystem winners of CES.

    This tells you something about how long Alexa/Google Home will be "stars" for, doesn't it?

  • I don't think this comes as a shock to most of us, and I don't think it's entirely due to the innovation of other companies. I do not count myself as an Apple fan (a detractor, actually) but I've been able to respect their dedication to "the Apple vision" or whatever you'd like to call it back in the era of Mr. Jobs. They've done a lot of legitimately "brave" things in the past, and have had some truly incredible (if derivative) designs that broke the market molds everywhere.

    Now though? Their actual bravery

  • I've been to CES a bunch of times (though not this year), so I can totally understand what the article is talking about...

    I don't really think it matters, but I think it's a sign of the rapid expansion of all areas of technology. CES has only so much room (even though it has a LOT of room) and especially this year, between voice stuff and cars there's not room for much else. A hot new thing will always crowd out existing stuff to a degree, and Amazon / Google are heating up voice control like there's no t

    • I've been to the last 23 CES shows - including this year. A goodly portion of the Sands was unoccupied/roped off, as well as most of the top of the Venetian hotel (old high-end audio section). Lots of those spaces would have been where Kickstarter/startups would have been located, but because of flagging demand for space - they can move to more "higher visibility" areas. It wasn't because a lack of space - it was a lack of interest. Android was much more prevalent this year than in past. Both in use an
      • One of the reasons I stopped going to CES is that a pretty large company I did some occasional work for used to have a large booth there. But every year it was more and more expensive, and every year the placement they got (for a booth that was thousands of square feet mind you) got shunted off to worse locations, and other booths got so big you couldn't see them unless you walked right past... so rather than spending millions on CES each year, they stopped going and just rented out some space to meet with

  • Wireless technologies have pretty much removed the need for a lot of those products. I mean how many things that relied on a dock are now done with Bluetooth or over WiFi? I'd wager damn near all of them. Apple's influence is still there, it's just not in products made exclusively or mostly exclusively for the Apple ecosystem anymore. For example, most smart home products coming out these days are homekit compatible, along with broader compatibility with other major vendors. There isn't a need to be Apple s
  • Just as Apple's indirect presence at CES was never relevant, so is anyone else's. For example, I still have yet to encounter someone who uses voice control as the dominant control for *any* activity. I know many people who own Echos, Echo Dots, Ecobee with Alexa, Sonos One, etc yet none of them have admitted using Alexa other than for amusement purposes, and then only if they're situationally forced to (e.g. calling someone in a car).

    Similarly, the vast majority of Apple users I know don't use any accessori

  • That's what I'll call it next time I'm not on a job I'm supposed to be.

  • CES isn't about how successful a company is today, it's about the future. Yes, Apple is still financially successful, but they are 'eating their seed corn' in that they are living on past technological leaps and have become rudderless as far as future tech is concerned (or they are way out ahead and Apple's legendary secrecy is keeping it all under wraps). My own feeling is that leadership is focused on fashion, or internal fighting over the company's direction/future, and there is no real work/plan for
    • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

      I thought their next Big Thing was supposed to be a car? If true, that's a pretty big shift and executing on that plan is going to take a long time. But as long as they keep selling $1,200 iPhones, it seems like they have time to burn.

      • They better hurry, GM's set to release a driverless car next year [theverge.com]. They've even removed the steering wheel; what would typically be considered an Apple move.
  • Who really cares about CES other than investors and people hawking their latest ideas and prototypes?

    Apple never cared about CES. Why should they start now? That CES was obsessed about Apple a few years ago doesn't portend doom for Apple now that that obsession has faded (reverted to mean).

  • I heard different. I've got a contact on one of the large chip markers stands who told me this week that "Apple’s facial recognition in iPhoneX has left other phone companies scrambling for alternatives."

  • by rainer_d ( 115765 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @04:51PM (#55917419) Homepage

    I can't imagine how people want a device in their homes that listens to everything they say and sends it to a server, somewhere. It's probably archived, too.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There must have been dongles. Hundreds and hundreds of dongles.

  • While I'm in no means an Apple fan-boi, I have switched first from Android then to Windows Mobile and now to Iphone. I did buy the X, which replaced a perfectly good 950xl and now have a X for personal use and a 7+ for work. Teh Apple peeps are not going to switch anytime soon to Android and probably don't need to be wowed at CES anymore. Most of my sons' friends are Iphone users as are many of my co-workers. My older son is the only one his age I know who has an Android device.

    Great discussion though - wo
  • Can I design hardware for their top of the line pro towers? No. Why? They don't exist.

    Can I design anything that plugs into their hardware? Not unless it uses USB C. Their new machines even require RAM to be installed by special magical technicians who wear the special Apple T-Shirts that make installing memory possible.

    Apple has spent the last few years telling everyone around them to go jump in a lake because they need no-one other than consumers who buy machines that are disposable. That's their choice b

    • Get used to USB C.

      The Pro Towers (or lack of) are a bit of a problem. But the fact that HPE's workstations are great is not going to save the company. Nor is the lack of a Pro Tower going to kill Apple.

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