CES 2013 tech news impressions

Nexus 7
Creative Commons licensed photo by Android Developers.

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas has just started, and while I obviously can’t be there, I can at least follow along all the news on various tech sites. Each year brings various tech announcements that range from something to look forward to (like last year’s ultrabooks news) to wondering what the heck they were thinking.

Thought I’d list below the interesting (for better or for worse) tech news that’s caught my attention so far…

  • Sony plans to stop making both the Playstation 2 and standard-definition camcorders. I’m surprised they were still making SD camcorders, given the emphasis on everything being “HD” nowadays. As for the PS2, I guess it’s about time, given how long the PS3 has been on the market. We also should be long due for a PS4 of some sort.
  • Asus announced a dock for the Nexus 7. No word on pricing/availability yet.
  • Polaroid, in its recent return from being declared dead after killing its classic instant-camera business, is producing a line of Android-based cameras. (I guess if there’s ever a (hopefully non-MacFarlane) “Flintstones” revival, the art-smock-wearing bird inside their “Polarock” cameras needs to learn how to do the Stone Age-equivalent-of-apps along with chiseling/painting a picture in 60 seconds.) Cartoons aside, the Engadget comments section actually seem receptive about this line of cameras; if online comments sections are actually non-negative for once, maybe this is Polaroid’s break…
  • Canonical formally announced when its new Ubuntu mobile phone OS will debut. They originally announced the new OS on January 2nd, which earned it in my opinion the first dubious bit of tech news for 2013. Given the less-than-stellar reception to their current desktop OS (the Unity debacle), the not-too-long-ago death of WebOS, and that the smartphone market’s firmly stabilized at this point on iOS and Android (with Windows Phone and Blackberry taking up the remainder of market share), I don’t see the point in introducing an Ubuntu smartphone OS. Never mind the lack of apps there’ll be for mobile-Ubuntu, or who’ll put it on their phones, or that Android’s the most successful Linux incarnation among the general public. To me, this has “DOA” written all over it… I’d like to be proven wrong, but given even their desktop OS has people defecting to Linux Mint…
  • Huawei is making a 6 inch smartphone…thing. CES is young, but this might possibly win the award for the worst-sounding gadget this year. I thought 4 inch phones were fairly hefty as it is (and the 4.5″-5″ models coming out already head-scratchers), but 6 inches?! Seems to defeat the point of a smartphone being, well, a cell phone—something easily portable. And last I checked, I should be able to hold a phone in one hand (the article mentions both hands being required to make full use of this thing).

I await seeing what else will come down the pike this week from CES…

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