Archive | Consumer electronics

CES at 50: Lessons Still Not Learned

Gazing at faded black-and-white photos from the first CES, which occurred 50 years ago this week in New York, it’s tough not to laugh at the antiquated gear that was considered cutting-edge at the time—fat tube black-and-white TVs when 23 inches was considered “big screen,” giant wood console cabinet TV/record player/radio combos, “portable” TVs that […]

Hungry Mobile Video: Will Next-Generation TV Feed the Beast?

Bandwidth-hungry video is viewed as an insatiable beast by those who are delivering it over crowded networks. Better compression and mobile network advances have relieved some congestion but the flames of UHD and virtual reality are licking at the heels of cellular networks. TV broadcasters think they can help relieve some of that congestion with […]

Different Looks at AI, Security/Privacy and eSports

Each year, the fine folks at IFA bring in journalists from around the globe (including yours truly) for a preview of the annual IFA confab in Berlin (1-6 September) and to take in a series of presentations from prognosticators and product makers. Nearly every trending tech topic is discussed. Among all the industry forecasts and […]

Samsung Rallies Industry Support For `QLED’ TVs

Samsung has started making it known throughout the consumer video display industry that it would like anyone involved in the development, production and sale of display devices enhanced by quantum dot technology to begin referring to those devices as “QLED,” short for Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diode,” displays. Samsung is hoping that broad-based use of […]

Will “Surge S1” Make Xiaomi Surge Again?

Given recent activity by smartphone suppliers, it appears that independence from chip suppliers might be the preferred strategy for building international market share. The up-and-coming Xiaomi recently lost its top domestic market share. The company is changing its design and manufacturing plans in hopes of gaining back that share, as well as making headway into […]

Is History Repeating Itself in Japan?

One of the starkest trends in the consumer electronics industry over the past 15 years has been the collapse of Japan’s once mighty TV industry. Formerly iconic brands with immense global reach have shriveled in the face of intense pressure from South Korea’s one-two punch of LG and Samsung and a glut of low-cost competition, […]

The Technology Forest: Don’t Get Lost in the Woods

Believe it or not, there is a somewhat timely pattern to the historical disruption caused by technology advances. Let’s call the individual technology advances the trees, and the profound business and societal impacts from those advances the forest. Individually, these advances may not do much to challenge the status quo, but together, in a compressed […]

Why Google, Not Amazon, Will Win the Smart Home War

Every new technology brings with it a clash of competing standards, formats and operating systems. Veteran observers can recount the (rhetorically) bloody battles pitting Betamax against VHS, HD-DVD against Blu-ray, DVD-A vs. Super Audio CD, Mac vs. PC—we could go on. The format wars, as they’re colloquially called, are by no means over. There are […]

Many Monstrous Notes at CES 2017

While wandering around CES 2017, I was reminded of that scene in Amadeus, in which the Emperor Joseph II decides that the new opera by Mozart had “too many notes.” (The actual quote is “monstrous many notes” and referred to Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” but I digress.) That’s what I felt about CES—monstrous […]

Chinese Mobile Makers’ App Store Strategy

How have Chinese smartphone makers, such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and ZTE, been able to compete in the domestic Chinese market at lower price points than those of international brands like Apple and Samsung? Local suppliers and service providers are vying for millions of consumer purchases—specifically, high-quality, feature-rich devices at relatively low prices. They must […]