Boston Tech Companies Tout AI, Apps And More At CES

Apple doesn’t exhibit at trade shows in general. In 2008, Steve Jobs announced that Apple was pulling out of Macworld Expo, the Apple-centric trade show, where he had previously announced a number of important Apple products, including the original iPhone in 2007. Apple’s reasoning was that the company had retail stores all over the world that could showcase Apple products. In addition, the company had the clout and budget to host keynotes, or marketing events to unveil products, independent of a giant trade show, where companies are competing for attention from the press. Many companies, like Amazon, Samsung Electronics and Google, have followed suit and introduced products at their own events.

Here’s what’s interesting: Over my last decade attending CES, Apple cast a long shadow over the conference despite not having an official presence. Many companies were making things that worked with the iPhone or iPad, like cases, speakers or apps. But this year, Apple doesn’t seem very relevant here. The show now revolves around Amazon and Google and their battle for domination with voice assistants. There are a good number of companies here showing smart home products that work with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant and choosing to skip out on Apple’s HomeKit because of the stricter privacy requirements and extra fees associated with making products that are certified to work with HomeKit. So the show seems to have moved on from one giant to two others.

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