Jan 3, 2020

The product announcements to watch for at CES 2020

Attendees grasp at objects in an AR game at CES 2019. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

While we don't yet know the full details of everything that will be unveiled at CES this year, we have a pretty good idea of who will be making the announcements and the types of products to expect.

Why it matters: Vegas during CES is a noisy place. It pays to know which direction to point your ears.

Traditional consumer electronics firms: Expect the Samsungs, Sonys and LGs of the world to dazzle us with giant TVs few people can afford, including wall-size displays, sets that can roll and fold and screens sporting 8K resolution.

  • Samsung's HS Kim is taking the Monday night pre-show keynote spot once occupied by Bill Gates, and he gave a preview here — though if you're looking for more details and fewer buzzwords, try CNET's story.

Appliances: Sometimes some of the most interesting new devices at CES are high-end takes on home appliances. A few years back, it was multiplex washing machines. This year, it could be AI-equipped fridges.

PC makers: Expect all the big computer makers to unveil new models. Dell isn't even waiting until Vegas. On Thursday it announced a new 5G-equipped laptop and improved software for connecting its PCs with iOS devices.

Automotive: CES has been a prime venue for automakers for some time, with all the big names eager to show just how tech-forward their new models will be. We'll also be hearing about super-light vehicles, with Uber set to make some announcements, as well as Segway-Ninebot.

Component makers: The leading chipmakers, including Qualcomm, Nvidia, Intel and more, will all have a significant presence.

  • Qualcomm is focusing on cars, Nvidia on gaming and autonomous machines (both cars and robots), and Intel has a press conference set for Monday with CEO Bob Swan.

Social media: The big social companies are mostly absent or marginal at CES. Snapchat, TikTok and other major social media companies aren't expected to have major presences like they do at conferences like VidCon and Cannes.

  • Facebook executives are speaking at various events, but the company isn't expected to make any major announcements. Twitter is hosting a panel on Wednesday morning, and Reddit will be exhibiting.

Government speakers: Most federal officials canceled their appearances last year due to the government shutdown, but several administration leaders are expected in Vegas this year.

  • In addition to Ivanka Trump and Chao, the FDA's Amy Abernethy is leading a session and U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios is expected to appear as part of Chao's keynote. FCC chairman Ajit Pai and FTC chairman Joe Simons are also slated for a fireside chat.

Apple: As usual, Apple won't have its own spot on the show floor, but its presence will be felt, both in terms of accessories and in the influence its designs and products hold over many competitors' offerings.

  • Also, expect to see more smart TVs with the Apple TV app built in, and vendors of smart-home products will introduce new devices supporting HomeKit. Plus, Apple's Jane Horvath will be part of a panel of tech industry privacy chiefs.

Go deeper: CES isn't what you think it is

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CES isn't what you think it is

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

CES, the annual January trade show in Las Vegas, is many things: a great place to catch up with leaders from throughout the tech industry, a decent chance to spot broad trends and an opportunity to hear stump speeches from big-name CEOs trying to get their companies seen as tech leaders.

What it's not, though, is a place for the most important tech announcements of the year. Companies like Apple, Google and Samsung prefer to launch key products in a less noisy environment, at their own private events.

Go deeperArrowJan 3, 2020

What's happened so far at CES 2020

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

There will be a ton of tech news coming out of Las Vegas this week, and Axios has you covered with all the big news in one place.

The big picture: The biggest products of the year tend to be announced elsewhere, but in terms of sheer volume of consumer tech news, CES is still unmatched. For more on what to expect, check out this preview story. And check back all week for the latest from the Axios tech team.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 8, 2020

Apple says its software business is booming

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Apple on Wednesday said that its services business, which includes software for things like news, gaming, apps, music and video, had its best ever year in 2019.

Why it matters: Apple has been focusing on growing its services business as iPhone sales have drooped.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020