Since it precedes two very large wireless trade shows, Mobile World Congress and CTIA, you never know what CES will bring in the way of cell phones. Some years can be pretty quiet, but other years the wireless industry decides to show up in force. Fortunately, CES 2011 was a big wireless event, with two companies in particular, Motorola and Verizon Wireless, pulling out all the stops. You also might call it the "."
Moto goes the extra mile (and then some)
It was late last year when we saw the first signs of a big cell phone presence at CES. Motorola was at the forefront of the talk early on with a rumored Android Honeycomb tablet and an Android dual-core smartphone. Indeed, most of the gossip proved to be true and Moto emerged to dominate the show. Its tablet won CNET's Best of CES Award and the for AT&T took the Best of CES title in the smartphone category. The company also brought us its clever , the 4G-enabled for Verizon Wireless, and the for T-Mobile.
Verizon Wireless to the first selection of LTE phones and for its . With an immense booth on the show floor and an opening-day by CEO Ivan Seidenberg, Big Red had its largest presence in Las Vegas in recent years. The carrier didn't announce an iPhone--that --but it did give us the aforementioned , the long-anticipated , the , and the horribly named .
AT&T tries for 4G
The carrier took us by surprise when it used a developer's meeting the day before CES started to that LTE service would begin in the middle of this year. Until then, the carrier is pushing HSPA+ service as "4G" and it rolled out three new HSPA+ handsets. Yes, we know AT&T is playing fast and loose with 4G terms, but the Atrix looks so cool we're excited anyway. We also saw the and the . Unfortunately, Sammy the latter.
All the rest
Sony Ericsson just one phone, the . It's not bound for a U.S. carrier just yet, but its gorgeous hardware and Bravia multimedia engine make it worth a close look. Sprint scooped almost everyone by unveiling the early in the week and LG also showed its own strengths by displaying the and .
So as we close CES we look back at a busy, innovative, and impressive show for wireless. CES usually sets the stage for what's to come in technology in the new year so we expect the next two trade shows to be equally full. Next stop is Barcelona, Spain, for Mobile World Congress. CNET will bring you all the news when it begins February 14.