Apple’s indirect presence fades from CES

Ben Bajarin:

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.

Ben says that Apple is not doomed, and he’s right. However, this is not a good sign for Apple.



  • DanielSw

    I don’t think Apple should be tied to anyone else’s calendar or schedule, like CES, or MacWorld. They have plenty of net and retail space to display their product. Perhaps if Home Pod were ready it would have been there in some form or fashion. But then again, with Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple Park and internet live streaming, that is now a far better venue for product presentation than any tired old trade show like CES. If anything’s doomed, it’s CES!!

    • David Zentgraf

      They’re saying the world seems to be losing interest in the Apple ecosystem and there’s barely any 3rd party product related to Apple present at CES; not that Apple itself is absent from CES.

      • ill believe it when iPhones are the top selling smartphones and the #1 cameras on flickr, iPads are the top selling tablets, etc. until then, the world seems to be very interested in the Apple ecosystem.

        • Shinigami

          What tablet outsells iPad? (None is the correct answer)

  • It’s not necessarily a bad sign, either. Not a lot of usefulness has come out of CES.

    • spazsquatch

      For years the worlds biggest porn convention was going on in Vegas while AVN was happening right across the street.

  • The Cappy

    I have a very uncomfortable memory of how Apple defeated Microsoft not by going head to head with it but by outflanking it. Apple was so busy listening to people say wearables were the Next Big Thing, and it seems to be voice assistants. It doesn’t seem like Apple is in the same woefully underprepared state that Blackberry (to switch comparisons) was in when it opened the smart phone front, though. This was from the start Apple’s game to lose. So far though, they appear to be losing it.

    • yes, they appear to be losing by having the top selling smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and are the most popular camera on photo sites.

      so losing it! gah!!!!

      /slap forehead

      • The Cappy

        Blackberry and Microsoft both made those inane statements in their day. “We own Market X”… until Apple went around them and opened a new market.

    • EVula

      “Apple was so busy listening to people say wearables were the Next Big Thing, and it seems to be voice assistants.”

      This statement would have a lot more weight to it if there was actual, rock-solid evidence that voice assistants are, indeed, the Next Big Thing. It’s entirely possible that voice assistants are just a fad, or that they’ll do well enough, but not become huge.

      Meanwhile, Apple has done well for itself in the wearables market, though I doubt it’s because they were “busy listening” to what anyone had to say.

  • I’m not too worried. As was pointed out not long ago (Gruber noted it I think) this voice assistant stuff is the new hotness, but it’s not going anywhere important. It’s the tech world flailing about looking for the next great paradigm. But Alexa and the rest are not it.

    • Maritza

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  • Mo

    Bajarin mentions the Alexa and Google “voice platforms” as ecosystems. But how thoroughly do they actually function as ecosystems, at least as far as consumers and developers are concerned? What are either of these platforms doing that’s of genuine use, other than driving sales and advertising traffic?

  • fastasleep

    I don’t buy it. Bajarin is a smart anaylist, but I don’t see anything here other than Amazon and Google flooding the market with Assistant devices while Apple is still dicking around with theirs (likely for the better). How would a HomePod increase visibility at CES for Apple? The HomeKit stuff has been slow to mature regardless of having Siri speakers in the home, I’m not sure that’s going to be the one thing that opens the floodgates. So, it’s hard to see that this is indicative of anything other than the irrelevancy or CES as anything other than a parade of also-rans and proof of concept demos. It’s not like Apple is slumping right now.