At this show there were over 20,000 new products revealed. And as in every year, it’s declared the “Year of 3D, tablets, flat screens, smart phones, etc.” And just as always, the electo-pundits were wrong. It was very obviously the “Year of iPhone/iPad”. Entire sections of the show had accessories and apps for just these two devices. It was stunning how many products biggest selling feature was its compatibility with the Apple duo. No major manufacturer (even their biggest competitors) did not have at least a handful of products specifically designed for them. According to the sales charts, Android phones out sell the iPhone. But you could have put all the accessories/apps for that format in a small home … maybe a large den. It was more obvious than any other point that I can remember that there is one phone to rule them all. If there was money in Android add-ons, everyone would make them. The majority of users of Android products plainly aren’t as tech literate or as fanatical as Apple users. The professional and technical apps for the iPhone are mind boggling. I saw an iPad taking the place of an entire stages worth of guitar effect pedals, These would easily cost thousands of dollars (not including the cables, batteries, etc.) … the inexpensive app has effect galore for only two bucks a piece! There was a complete multi-channel recording studio that ran on the iPhone. In fact, a major band just recorded it’s entire album on just an iPad! Heart monitoring, remote aircraft control, comprehensive security control, blood analyzing … the list just goes on and on. In the “high end” area, Apple’s iTunes isĀ de rigueur for demonstrating the deep six figure audio systems there. and yes, they all talk about how great the iPhone/iPad/iTouch sounds on their gear.

Of course, Apple was not actually at the show … they didn’t have to be. Everyone else touts their products for them. Here’s an interesting question: For next year Microsoft has said it will not attend … will anyone notice?

UPDATE – 01/18/12 – When the space for the 2013 CES became available, As predicted, the space that had been Microsoft for years, was taken in 45 minutes by the Dish Network. And yes, nobody will notice Microsoft is gone.

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