CTIA's fall show fights for relevancy
Even though we saw several new phones at CTIA, consumer attention flutters elsewhere to the arrival of the iPhone 4S, and rumors of the Motorola Droid Razr and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Even the phones that were announced weren't too much to get excited about. Should there be a CTIA fall show at all?
While the fall version of CTIA in San Diego
This is not to say we didn't see any new phones. AT&T announced at the opening of CTIA, for example. However, only two of them were seen at the show--the and the --along with several handsets that we knew about already. They include the , the , the , and more. Few of these phones truly excited us, however. Even the Atrix 2, which is arguably the most interesting phone announced at CTIA Fall 2011, is more of a sequel. We certainly appreciated the opportunity to get hands-on time with so many previously announced devices, but the fall Enterprise & Applications show definitely pales in comparison to the much more active CTIA show in the spring.
Same ol', same ol'?
Yet, this is nothing new. The CTIA show in the fall has traditionally been the lesser of the two, preferring to focus more on enterprise solutions and applications over new hardware launches. It's more of a show for entrepreneurs and business deals rather than members of the press. But forgive me for feeling disappointed all the same. Previous fall CTIAs did see a few interesting handset announcements, like along with four other Android phones by Motorola. Additionally, October is usually the time of big product launches as the holidays approach, and a fall trade show would be a perfect venue to announce such devices.
Or perhaps not. It looks like companies are much more comfortable handling the big announcements on their own stage and on their own time. Who can blame them, as they get more control this way, with much more attention as well. Yet, trade shows like CTIA and CES are a great way to gather many members of the press in one space, to get as wide a coverage as possible.
Time to jazz it up
One possible solution I've heard bandied about is that there should only be one CTIA show. Make it a big affair, similar to how Mobile World Congress is done in Barcelona, Spain. It would also be good to time the event a few months away from CES and Mobile World Congress so that companies actually have new items to announce. Next year's CTIA in New Orleans will take place in May, which is a step in the right direction.
Despite the rather lackluster show, I'm still glad we went. Having a chance to see phones we otherwise wouldn't see is great, like the tablet from Huawei, a manufacturer that has yet to really make a name for itself in the U.S. Definitely check out our CTIA page for all our show coverage, along with photos, videos, and more., for example. We also saw the , a