CES, Vista, Macworld, iPhone: what does this mean to you?

what does this mean to you?

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s largest technology expo, showcasing the latest (or upcoming) products from thousands of companies, covering more than one million square feet of exhibit space. Like every year, this year it was held in Las Vegas, NV, from January 8-11, drawing people from more than 130 countries.

Bill Gates, the world’s richest man and the best-known name in technology, opened the show with his customary keynote speech. He covered many topics, including the new Microsoft Vista operating system and placed special emphasis on the integration of home and work technologies.

Bill Gates was followed by many other experts in the technology industry with his speeches and presentations.

Macworld opened with a keynote address from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, introducing the long-awaited iPhone, a unit that integrates phone, web, and the ever-popular iPod with a bunch of other apps (supposedly) running a Mac operating system. OS X. Most notably with his rock star persona, Mr. Jobs stole all the limelight from Mr. Gates and CES with the new “gadget” that won’t even be available to the public until the second half of the year.

This Apple iPhone is the most talked about “gadget” of the year so far, certainly topping many wish lists. In the US, it’s supposed to be available through wireless carrier Cingular on a 2-year contract for $499 (4GB) and $599 (8GB).

There are several European websites that accept pre-orders without a wireless contract, sometimes going as high as $1,200. Several lawsuits have been filed against Apple for copyright violations and some analysts say the original shipping date may be delayed because of this. There is a device, introduced last year, that has won many awards and, according to many who have seen it, looks and functions identically to Apple’s device.

We can learn a lot from this experience. Apple is known for this kind of “minimization.” They understand the wants and needs of consumers, and their emotional attachment to gadgets. Its design is all about usability, and not so much about all the bells and whistles. They understand that most people want their product to work and they want to feel good about what they bought. They are also very good at figuring out what most people want as features. They then design their products so that a customer will have very little trouble using them. The product is then introduced to the market with an exceptional presentation creating customer evangelists.

However, with all the controversy, will Apple’s positive trend continue when the iPhone hits the market?

InfoGuru2K6 © 2006

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