June 16, 2024
Latest Consumer Technology Products On Display At Annual CES In Las Vegas.
Mario Tama / Getty Photos

Wander the large halls of the CES commerce present held yearly in Las Vegas, and also you’ll discover plenty of smartphones. However very not often do you discover many new smartphones. Main producers nonetheless showcase their units, however they’re fashions which have already been launched relatively than ones being debuted on the occasion.

Sure, the phone-focused Cell World Congress (MWC) occasion is simply across the nook, however for some telephone manufacturers — particularly these wanting to achieve extra consideration within the U.S. — CES may be very a lot a possibility to seize loads of consideration that’s presently being fully missed.

Colours and ideas

OnePlus Concept
OnePlus Idea gadget, proven off at CES 2020. Andy Boxall / DigitalTrends

It’s not a brand new factor for telephone manufacturers to not take CES very severely. Over time, corporations have launched particular editions of present telephones, new colours, or a couple of lower-range fashions. However to see a giant flagship telephone take middle stage in Las Vegas is a real rarity. As a substitute, telephone makers wish to carry idea telephones alongside. For instance, in 2020, OnePlus confirmed the Idea One with its cool electrochromic glass over the digital camera lenses.

Earlier than its demise, LG teased its “rollable” smartphone at CES, and TCL normally brings ideas to CES too. Ideas and teasers are a necessary a part of the CES expertise, because the present is as a lot about future expertise, experimental merchandise, and what’s coming subsequent as it’s about new releases we’ll really be capable of purchase within the ensuing months. However it’s additionally about getting consideration, hyping up new merchandise, and introducing folks to new names, which is the place the chance lies.

This implies I’m not referring to large manufacturers like Samsung, Google, and Apple. None of them want CES or MWC to get consideration, and so they don’t have any want to struggle for headlines or ground area at a crowded commerce present both. Main manufacturers get far more worth from a standalone occasion the place they management all the things after which dominate the information for days to come back. Samsung is an efficient instance. Whereas its early “Unpacked” occasions occurred at MWC, it quickly determined to not let the commerce present dictate its launch schedule. Now, it has separate occasions at completely different occasions every year.

CES is prime promoting area

best huawei mate 10 pro cases
Huawei Mate 10 Professional Digital Tendencies

As a substitute, CES is a chance for brand spanking new, upcoming, or barely smaller telephone manufacturers. As a result of CES is a little bit of a smartphone wasteland, one in all these producers with a genuinely model new product it’s going to launch within the close to future would virtually have the cell facet of the present to itself, ought to it resolve to launch on the occasion. CES is very large and attended by tens of 1000’s of individuals within the trade, together with the media. That’s plenty of eyes on you, plus CES is especially efficient at getting U.S. eyeballs on a model and product.

Huawei knew this, and in 2018 it selected CES to launch the Huawei Mate 10 Professional within the U.S., going all-out with a giant onstage presentation and exterior occasions too. There was no level launching the Mate 10 Professional for the U.S. at MWC a month or so after, because it’s held in Barcelona, Spain. No, CES was the proper launchpad for Huawei’s U.S. efforts, because it was principally unknown outdoors China and Europe on the time.

It wasn’t Huawei’s fault that it additionally all went improper at CES 2018 — it was nonetheless the proper choice to carry the occasion on the present. If all the things had gone proper and the Mate 10 Professional was obtainable by way of AT&T as initially anticipated, CES would virtually definitely have helped it construct its model shortly and successfully.

Telephones at CES 2024

The back of the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate.
Asus ROG Telephone 7 Final Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

That could be the final time one thing so large occurs in cell at CES, but it surely does seem one model acknowledges the potential of CES 2024 for a telephone launch, and that’s Asus.

Asus has already confirmed it’s going to launch the ROG Telephone 8 at CES 2024, marking the primary time it has used the Las Vegas occasion to indicate off its newest gaming telephone. Asus is already well-known at CES for its well-liked computing merchandise; nevertheless, it’s not as well-known for its telephones on the whole. Leveraging CES to achieve consideration for its latest cell gadget makes excellent sense, and as I’ve already talked about, it’s most likely not going to have a lot competitors in Las Vegas in any respect.

Asus sees how CES may actually assist extra folks discover the ROG Telephone, particularly within the profitable U.S. market. Nonetheless, not each new or upcoming model has been so forward-thinking.

A person holding the Nothing Phone 2, with the lights active.
Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

I can’t assist however suppose how CES is right for Nothing to actually plant its flag within the U.S. market, however sadly, it seems the model is doing … um, nothing particular at CES 2024. After the Nothing Chats app debacle, which can have soured some U.S. consumers on the good Nothing Telephone 2, CES may have been very helpful in serving to erase that mistake from historical past.

As a substitute, Nothing is headed to MWC 2024, the place we might get our first take a look at the rumored Nothing Telephone 2a. It’s thrilling, and there’s little question that MWC is the smart, protected option to launch a smartphone, which is why many different telephone manufacturers will launch telephones there, leaving Nothing combating for consideration. It wouldn’t want to take action in the identical method at CES, and it will additionally assist introduce its enjoyable, uncommon model and id to extra folks within the U.S. — all in a really quick period of time.

Not a cell present?

The show floor at CES
Robyn Beck / AFP through Getty Photos

CES shouldn’t be, and by no means has been, a commerce present about smartphones. However that shouldn’t imply they’re brushed apart. MWC is seen as the primary commerce present for cell units, however for the previous few years, it hasn’t seen many actually main, internationally related new mannequin releases. Commerce exhibits themselves have modified since 2020, so makes an attempt to stay to outdated formulation and traditions appear backward and never befitting of the thrilling, always-evolving tech trade.

Asus is taking a threat this yr, but it surely actually may repay. The ROG Telephone 8 will possible be fairly a distinct segment gadget, but it surely may additionally attraction to an important many individuals who aren’t even conscious Asus makes gaming smartphones. CES is a good place to indicate off, and to achieve headlines in a method it could not do if it launched the telephone on a random, wet Wednesday afternoon someday in February.

Different manufacturers that aren’t referred to as Samsung, Apple, or Google could be clever to look at how Asus will get on at CES 2024 and to not sleep too lengthy on any tentative plans to launch a flagship smartphone at CES 2025. It may give it a particular form of publicity that will be not possible to seek out elsewhere.

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