CES 2022 to Have Smaller Footprint, Fewer Attendees

The Las Vegas CES taking place Jan. 5-8, 2022, will have a smaller footprint than shows before the pandemic, organizers said in a Nov. 18 presentation to press.

CES, which was virtual in 2021, in 2022 will not be using the South Hall of the convention center, and Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, noted that the aisles will be wider.

“It’s going to have a smaller footprint, and we’ll have fewer people,” he said, adding “we recognize it’s a different year this year.”

CES has tallied 1,700 exhibitors and “tens of thousands” of registered attendees, Shapiro said of the show that attracted 170,000 attendees pre-pandemic. About one-third of the 2022 registrants are international, he noted.

“The people that are coming are serious buyers, serious press,” he said.

Floor plans will be coming out at the end of November, organizers said.

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In the home entertainment space, exhibitors will include TCL, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony, Hisense, Amazon and Google, organizers said. Among exhibitors participating in the C-Space are NBCUniversal, Discovery, WarnerMedia and Snap.

The show will include three new categories: food technology (such as plant-based food), space tech, and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and digital currency, according to Karen Chupka, EVP of CES for the CTA. Autograph in the NFT space is one of the exhibitors.

Another highlight is an autonomous race car competition.

Safety protocols for the in-person show include proof of vaccination, with all vaccinations approved by the FDA or WHO accepted (similarly to requirements for those traveling into the United States). Organizers noted that protocols in Las Vegas currently require masks indoors. They said they will release mask guidelines in December and expect to have social distancing measures in place.

The show is available to those who want to participate virtually as well, via live streaming and on demand. The on-demand features will be available through the end of January. Registration for the digital-only component starts Dec. 9.

The virtual experience is here to say, organizers said. “I think there will always be some digital component to CES,” said Chupka.

Nevertheless, Shapiro declared, “Live events are back!”

“It’s simply enjoyable for people to be together,” he said.

Samsung’s Jong-Hee Han to Deliver Pre-Show Keynote at CES

Jong-Hee (JH) Han, president of the visual display business at Samsung Electronics, will deliver the pre-show keynote address at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, the Consumer Technology Association announced.

Han’s keynote address will take place Jan. 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the Venetian’s Palazzo Ballroom.

The keynote will present the company’s vision for an “Age of Togetherness,” meaning that technology needs to exist together with people and for the planet, according to the CTA. The keynote will be a call to action to mitigate climate change, and the company will show how everyone can do their part in building a sustainable planet. It will also present how customized and connected experiences will enrich people’s lives.

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“Since early 2020, people have changed how they live, work and play,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA, said in a statement. “Technology is solving people’s problems and connecting us to each other. More, innovation has accelerated. Samsung is an incredibly innovative company and we look forward to hearing Mr. Han’s vision of a greener world reimagined through technology.”

Prior to his current role at Samsung, Han served a four-year term as the division’s head of R&D. Since joining Samsung in 1988, he has been involved in the development of a wide range of products, including Micro LED, QLED, Lifestyle TVs, Smart Signage, Cinema LED and gaming monitors.

Han joins previously announced keynoters, including GM’s Mary Barra; T-Mobile’s Mike Sievert; Abbott’s Robert Ford; Rethink Impact’s Jenny Abramson; Softbank Opportunity Fund’s Stacy Brown-Philpot; and Material Impact’s Carmichael Roberts.

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert to Deliver Keynote at CES 2022

The Consumer Technology Association has announced that T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert will deliver a keynote address during CES 2022 taking place Jan. 5-8, 2022, in Las Vegas.

Sievert’s keynote will discuss 5G innovations for consumers, businesses and thought leadership — and spotlight a look into the future of how these advancements are enabling people to work, communicate and learn more efficiently, according to the CTA.

“As we return to in-person events, we look forward to convening innovators and business leaders from around the world who will showcase how technology impacts and improves every facet of our daily lives,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA, said in a statement. “The pace of innovation has accelerated over the last 18 months, and the rapid roll-out of 5G will only increase the momentum. There’s so much excitement in this space and for the first time, we welcome Mike Sievert to our keynote stage to share more about T-Mobile’s vision for fueling 5G innovation.”

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CES 2022 will showcase 5G technologies and bring together industry advocates, including Sievert, to share insights on the where 5G is headed, according to the CTA.

“The last year has shown us the critical role connectivity plays in our lives — for consumers, businesses and society as a whole,” Sievert said in a statement. “As the nation’s 5G leader, T-Mobile is driving a transformation in wireless communications. I can’t wait to keynote CES 2022 and showcase new ways this 5G network is unleashing game-changing innovations both now and in the future.”

The keynotes at CES 2022 will be viewed in-person in Las Vegas and accessed across the globe through the digital experience.

CTA’s Gary Shapiro Cautions Against Curbing Online Free Speech Rights

Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association and CES in Las Vegas, in a recent address cautioned against proposed regulatory moves to curb online speech.

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Speaking on the recent Media Institute’s Virtual Communications Forum, Shapiro discussed how limiting freedom of expression online will affect user-generated comments and reviews, small businesses and startups.

Gary Shapiro

The Media Institute is a non-partisan organization focusing on the First Amendment and communications policy.

“Members of both political parties want to make Internet platforms responsible for user generated comments and reviews,” Shapiro said. “This is akin to making hotel owners responsible for guest behavior. Creating this liability given the huge amount of postings would severely crimp the value of these services and lead to an onslaught of opportunistic trial lawyer lawsuits.”

Instead, Shapiro called on government to provide “clear and reasonable” guardrails that give American companies legal certainty. The executive said tech and social media companies must be willing to “correct, accept and avoid infringing on IP, and defaming and slandering others.”

“This means having a process in place to correct or remove postings once platforms learn of legitimate and clear challenges,” Shapiro said. “We should encourage U.S. internet platforms  to be more transparent about their content moderation decisions and give people more control over what they see on their feeds.”

The CEO called for collaboration between policymakers and innovators.

“We must move from less productive debates on shutting-off speech to more productive discussions,” Shapiro said.

CES to Return to Las Vegas for Live Event in January

The Consumer Technology Association April 28 announced that CES 2022 will return to Las Vegas next year.

CES heads back to Las Vegas Jan. 5-8, 2022, with Media Days taking place Jan. 3-4, 2022.

After an all-digital CES 2021, CTA will convene the tech industry in-person and digitally, giving a global audience access to major brands and startups, as well as leaders and industry advocates.

Some 1,000 companies have committed to showcasing their technologies in Las Vegas, and more are continuing to sign up, according to the CTA. Attendees can expect to see global brands including Amazon, AMD, AT&T, Daimler AG, Dell, Google, Hyundai, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics and Sony. Companies including Caterpillar, Indy Autonomous Challenge and Sierra Space are planning to make a Las Vegas debut in 2022. Eureka Park will return with startups representing countries around the world, including delegations from France, Italy, the Netherlands and South Korea.

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“We’re thrilled to return to Las Vegas — home to CES for more than 40 years — and look forward to seeing many new and returning faces,” CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement. “Hundreds of executives have told us how much they need CES to meet new and existing customers, find partners, reach media and discover innovation.”

The CES anchor desk, which debuted at CES 2021, will travel to Las Vegas and connect the digital audience with exhibitors, conference sessions, keynotes and product announcements from the live event. New content will also be added once CES departs Las Vegas.

“Our customers are enthusiastic about returning to a live event in Las Vegas,” Karen Chupka, EVP of CES for CTA, said in a statement. “Global brands and startups have shared that plans are already well underway and are committed to sharing the magic of an in-person CES with even more people from around the world.”

The CTA will be reviewing guidelines for coronavirus safety measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to state and local guidelines. The CTA will be following applicable federal, state and local laws, adapting CES plans accordingly and sharing updates with its audiences, according to the organization.

CES 2021 Goes Virtual in Pandemic Era

The annual CES kicks off today (Jan. 11) online instead of in Las Vegas due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Gone are the 170,000 attendees who interacted in person with more than 4,500 exhibitors at the consumer electronics showcase in 2020.

This year, the virtual CES will feature about 2,000 vendors, including those targeting home entertainment with the newest high-definition televisions (QLED, MicroLED, 4K and 8K) to consumers largely homebound for their video entertainment.

To accommodate online attendees, CES is affording registered viewers the ability to remotely access vendors via “digital activations” that enable them to interact with company reps and related show materials. CES will again showcase keynote speakers and roundtable discussions — all online.

CTA CEO Gary Shapiro

“CES 2021 will be making history, with our first all-digital show,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association said in a statement. “This new experience will feature exhibitors from around the world, showcasing the latest trends and innovation in artificial intelligence, 5G, digital health, smart cities, vehicle tech and beyond. Technology will move us forward and CES 2021 will illustrate how innovation paves the way for a brighter tomorrow.”

Shapiro said COVID-19 has underscored the need for consumer electronics and innovation without increased government regulation.

“We’re able to work and learn remotely thanks to high-speed internet, video conferencing tools and affordable laptops,” Shapiro wrote. “The pandemic has sped our embrace of technology — for work, school, health, entertainment, connecting with loved ones — and spurred innovation around the globe.”

CTA estimates that 40% of U.S. workers are doing so from home, while 90% of school children are being educated outside the classroom during the pandemic.

Shapiro said consumer technology enhancing work and entertainment in the home will “help us be human again with other humans as they ensure crowd-friendly spaces and entertainment zones.” He lauded major content players such as WarnerMedia for taking the landmark step streaming movies into homes at the same time they arrive in theaters.

At the same time Shapiro is calling on the new 117th U.S. Congress to take a “fresh look” at immigration reform, with an emphasis on high-skilled immigration policy. He said 80% of immigrants are likely to start a business in the U.S.

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“The incoming Biden administration can also help our competitiveness by stabilizing trade relationships and promoting our crown jewel companies and world-leading startup ecosystem,” Shapiro wrote. “This includes a fact-based look at Section 230, the cornerstone of free speech online, and ensuring it continues to provide protections to companies both large and small.”

Section 230 is legislation passed into law as part of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. In the current political climate, Section 230 provides immunity to social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter against being sued regarding content on their site. The companies say they can better self-moderate content and government regulators.

Some lawmakers, including President Trump, say Section 230 enables tech companies and social media platforms to censor political content.

Shapiro said the Biden Administration should help to promote clarity and provide “rational and clear guardrails” within which companies can operate, while at the same time enabling U.S. companies to be more competitive globally.

“American tech companies are the envy of the world,” Shapiro wrote. “China is spending billions to catch and surpass our nation’s most innovative companies. Europe targets our tech companies with protectionist rules. If we implement rules restricting flexibility or creating new barriers to entrepreneurship and innovation, we will bolster the efforts of competitor nations.”

 

2020 Retail Winners: E-Commerce, Consumer Electronics

To say online shopping boomed in 2020 would be an understatement,, especially during a pandemic. The trend toward e-commerce isn’t new. It’s been a reality of retail for awhile as stores big and small embrace transacting over the Internet as a means of dealing direct with the consumer and better competing against Amazon.

New data from eMarketer suggests that lost pre-pandemic spending on restaurants, bars, salons, travel, live events, movie theaters, etc., contributed to a $100 billion uptick in e-commerce spending, notably on consumer electronics.

In January, eMarketer forecast total e-commerce sales would reach $675 billion in 2020. Now, that estimate is closer to $795 billion.

Consumer electronics were particularly well suited to serve the needs of a population suddenly stuck at home managing unexpected work, school and leisure time. Online CE sales are tracking toward $179.3 billion, up from pre-pandemic estimate of $150.1 billion.

“That’s $29.3 billion in unanticipated online spending on devices to help us work, learn, [entertain] and play from home,” analyst Ethan Cramer-Flood wrote in a Dec. 29 note.

Indeed, tech spending on hardware and services during the 2020 holiday season (October-December) is projected to reach $135 billion in revenue in the United States — a 10% increase from a year ago, according to the Consumer Technology Association.

Projected top-selling CE devices over the holidays include smartphones, laptops, next-generation video game consoles, TVs and wearables.

“The 2020 holiday season will bring economic, safety and political unknowns — but the consumer desire to give and receive technology gifts is certain,” said Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of market research at CTA. “With consumers forgoing budgets for travel and experiences this year, more dollars will go towards technology gifts that support connection, productivity, health and home entertainment, as technology has been a critical asset to so many during the ongoing pandemic.”

Perhaps no CE retailer has better adapted to the pandemic than Best Buy, which saw a near 174% increase in e-commerce revenue and entertainment in the most-recent fiscal quarter. The nation’s largest CE retailer was quick to offer online purchases with curbside pick-up during the early days of the pandemic.

The chain’s entertainment segment, which includes products such as DVD/Blu-ray Disc movies, video game hardware and software, books, music CDs and computer software, saw same-store sales increase 17.5% compared with a 20.8% decline during the previous-year period. The division generated 5% of domestic revenue, or $542.5 million, compared with $448.2 million last year.

Domestic online revenue of $3.82 billion increased 173.7% on a comparable basis, and as a percentage of total domestic revenue, online revenue increased to approximately 35.2% versus 15.6% in 2019.

CEO Corie Barry said the pandemic has underscored Best Buy’s purpose to “enrich lives through technology,” and the capabilities the chain is “flexing and strengthening” to benefit sales going forward.

CES 2021: Expanding Digital Reach, Limiting Physical Contact

This much is (sorta) for sure: the Consumer Technology Association’s annual CES confab is slated for early January in Las Vegas as it has been for decades. In 2020 more than 175,000 industry professionals, including more than 61,000 from outside the U.S., convened in Vegas to drive the ever-evolving global technology industry forward. The 2021 show is slated for Jan. 6-9.

But in the COVID-19 era, experiencing overhyped CE products like a sardine in a can could be a recipe for disaster. With CE tech enabling millions of people to work and be entertained in the home, so too can learning about the newest QLED 8K television.

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“We will showcase our exhibitors’ products, technology breakthroughs and ideas to the world, both physically in Las Vegas and digitally,” CTA said in a statement. “You can expect to see a wider selection of livestreamed CES content, along with many other engaging digital and virtual opportunities, enabling you to connect with the world’s leading technology innovators, thought leaders and policymakers.”

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How much of that connection will be done in person remains to be seen. While business as usual is a priority for CTA and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, both trade groups have implemented new policies to safeguard attendees and workers from the threat of the coronavirus.

Cleanliness and sanitization will be first and foremost a priority across the show venues to better enable social distancing, including widening aisles in many exhibit areas and providing more space between seats in conference programs and other areas where attendees congregate. Attendees and exhibitors will be encouraged to wear masks and avoid shaking hands.

CTA said it plans to limit touch points throughout the facilities, including through cashless systems for purchases and transactions. It is also considering employing contactless thermal scans at key venue entry points, in addition to providing enhanced on-site access to health service and medical aid.

“We will highlight technologies … for some of the day-to-day challenges created by the pandemic,” CTA said. “We believe events such as CES that bring thought leaders and innovators together to solve these challenges will be more important than ever.”

Best Buy, Roku, Apple Shares Rebound Following Tariff Delay

Shares of Best Buy, Roku, Apple and other consumer electronics retailers/manufactures rebounded after President Trump delayed until Dec. 15 a proposed new 10% tariff on cellphones, laptop computers, video game consoles and other goods manufactured in China.

The tariff on $300 billion worth of products, which Trump announced Aug. 1 as part of ongoing trade tensions with the world’s No. 2 economic power, would have been on top of an existing 25% tariff Trump previously imposed on $250 billion worth of other Chinese goods.

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The delay came after intense lobbying efforts in the nation’s capital convinced administration officials the new tariff could have serious implications to the U.S. economy entering the fourth quarter.

“Just in case they might have an impact on people … what we’ve done is we’ve delayed it so they won’t be relevant for the Christmas shopping season,” Trump told reporters on Aug. 13.

The news was welcomed by Wall Street, which saw shares of Best Buy, Apple and Roku rise 6.5%, 4% and 1%, respectively.

Roku is one of the largest manufacturer of Internet-connected televisions, with many originating from China.

But to the Consumer Technology Association trade group, delaying proposed tariffs only prolongs market uncertainty and impacts consumers 401(K) pension or retirement accounts, among other issues.

“Retaliatory tariffs are bad economic policy in the short and long term,” Gary Shapiro, CEO of the CTA, said in a statement. “The administration’s legally dubious trade war is compromising America’s global leadership.”

Previously-announced tariffs starting Sep. 1 will affect $52 billion in consumer technology products, and the tariffs starting Dec. 15 will affect $115 billion in products. Since July 2018, Section 301 tariffs on China have cost the consumer tech industry over $10 billion, including $1 billion on 5G-related products, according to the CTA.

“Tariffs are taxes,” Shapiro said. “The Chinese government doesn’t pay for them – Americans bear the burden. And next month, we’ll begin to pay more for some of our favorite tech devices – including TVs, smart speakers and desktop computers. The administration should permanently remove these harmful tariffs and find another way to hold China accountable for its unfair trading practices.”

CTA: Consumer Spending on Video Streaming Services Increasing 25% to $17.7 billion in 2019

The growing popularity of streaming services, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled emerging devices and in-vehicle technology will help drive the U.S. consumer tech industry to a record-breaking $401 billion in retail revenue in 2019 — 2.2% growth year over year — according to new data from the Consumer Technology Association.

“Enthusiasm for AI-powered technologies is skyrocketing — more consumers are discovering for themselves how tech innovation can change their daily lives for the better,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the organizer of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “And with 5G delivering the faster connectivity we’ll need for anytime/anywhere streaming, smarter home robotics and more advanced vehicles, consumer excitement will only grow.”

CTA’s biannual U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report reflects U.S. factory sales-to-dealers for 300+ consumer tech products and related software and services.

Emerging Technologies

Smart Home: Home safety and monitoring products are driving growth in the smart home category. CTA expects smart home sales – including Wi-Fi cameras, smart thermostats, smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, smart locks and doorbells, and smart switches, dimmers and outlets – to reach 28.6 million units (19% growth) and $4.5 billion (16% increase).

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Smart Speakers: After rapid adoption of AI-enabled, voice-controlled smart speakers including Amazon Echo and Google Home, and increased voice integration in other devices such as TVs, soundbars and smart home devices, smart speaker sales will level off in 2019. Smart speakers remain a category to watch, with an expected 35.2 million units sold (1% increase over last year) and $3 billion in revenue (1% decrease) in 2019.

Home Robots: Consumer enthusiasm for robots that perform chores such as vacuuming, lawn mowing and floor cleaning is driving another AI-enabled category seeing double digit year-over-year growth. CTA expects the category to sell 3.6 million units, a 12% annual increase, and earn $1.2 billion in revenue, a 19% jump.

Wireless Earbuds: Leading devices including Apple AirPods and Beats by Dre Powerbeats Pro are expected to sell nearly 16 million units in 2019 (up 45%) and approach $2 billion in revenue (a 46% increase). CTA projects double-digit growth for the category over the next few years, as consumers pick premium audio experiences featuring true wireless technology.

Smartwatches: As consumers gravitate toward premium smartwatches, revenue for the category is expected to increase 19% in 2019 to reach $5.4 billion. Smartwatches are expected to sell 20.1 million units, a 7% increase over last year – leading the wearables category.

“More than ever, consumers want premium technology experiences – especially within the smartphone, TV, laptop, smartwatch and wireless earbuds categories,” added Steve Koenig, VP of market research. “The lightning-fast pace of tech means we can upgrade our ‘everyday tech’ and get extraordinary experiences.”

Revenue Drivers

Smartphones: Now owned by 91% of U.S. households, smartphones have packed vital features into models at all price points. As a result, the replacement cycle is lengthening and smartphone units are expected to decline for the first time in 2019, reaching 165.5 million units (2% decrease) and earn $77.5 billion dollars in revenue (2% decrease) – the largest consumer tech category.

Looking ahead, 2019 marks the launch of the first 5G smartphones. This year, CTA expects the 5G-enabled devices to reach 2.1 million units sold and generate $1.9 billion in revenue.

Laptops: Driven by growing demand for cloud-based and convertible models, the U.S. laptop market will sell 51 million units, up 2% over 2018, and earn $32 billion in revenue (up 3%).

Televisions: After two years of record revenue and unit sales for the massive TV category, sales will start to taper off in 2019, as LCD shipments decline and upgrades from 4K Ultra High-Definition (4K UHD), 8K UHD and OLED sets grow. TVs remain the centerpiece technology in many American homes.

Overall, the total TV category will ship 38.8 million units in 2019 (1% increase) driving $21.4 billion in revenue (9% decrease) – following a better-than-expected year of sales in 2018. Upgrades will be driven by big screen models and sets featuring 4K UHD resolution and HDR technology. This year 4K UHD sets will account for 17 million units (7% increase) and almost $15 billion in revenue (9% decrease).

Looking ahead, inaugural shipments of 8K UHD TVs in 2019 will reach $734 million in revenue and 175,000 units. And the promising OLED market will surpass one million units this year (up 30% over 2018) with double-digit growth through CTA’s forecast horizon of 2023.

In-Vehicle Tech: Factory-installed, in-vehicle technology will see the largest revenue increase of any tech category in 2019 – increasing over $1 billion dollars year-over-year to reach $17.6 billion (8% increase over 2018). Advanced driver-assist safety features such as blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and collision avoidance systems are driving sales of both factory-installed and aftermarket vehicle technology alike.

Software and Streaming Services — Music, Video and Gaming

Consumer spending on software and services (including music, video and gaming services) is projected to reach a new high of $75.6 billion in 2019 (a 14% growth over last year). Driving consumer demand are cloud-based subscription services supported across a range of devices.

Video: Live TV streaming and exclusive content through subscriptions will push consumer spending on video streaming services to $17.7 billion in 2019, up 25%.

Music: On-demand music services including Apple Music, Pandora and Spotify will cross $8 billion in revenue, up 33% as increased adoption of products such as wireless earbuds and smart speakers drive more music subscriptions.

Gaming: A revolutionary shift toward cloud-based streaming models, subscriptions and growing in-game purchases will push the gaming software and services category to $38.9 billion in revenue in 2019 – an 11% increase.