A clear pattern is emerging among the world's top smartphones makers as September comes into view: Almost none of them are going to use CTIA's Super Mobility Week trade show as the official launch vehicle for their latest phones and wearable devices.
Even though CTIA is partnering with the IFA electronics trade show in Berlin, many device makers appear to be using the IFA show or their own company-specific media events to roll out their new gadgets. Many of the major device announcements, at IFA and elsewhere, will be held Sept. 3 and 4, the week before CTIA kicks off its major 2014 trade conference in Las Vegas.
That mobile companies are using company-specific events to unveil flashy products for the holiday shopping season is not surprising; many have followed Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) lead in recent years in doing so. And indeed, Apple is widely expected to announce its next iterations of the iPhone at its own event in California on Sept. 9, right in the middle of the CTIA show, which will probably divert media and consumer attention from the confab in Las Vegas. What is notable is how many major device companies are going to have so little so say at CTIA, either because they will have already announced products or because their executives are not likely to be there.
Samsung Electronics is kicking things off Sept. 3 with its latest "Unpacked" event in New York City. Samsung is also hosting a press event in Berlin at IFA that day, and is likely to announce its Galaxy Note 4, the newest version of its flagship phablet. The company has also already pre-announced the Gear S and Gear Circle, its new wearable products.
Huawei is also expected to announce new products at IFA, including the Ascend Mate 7, its newest flagship phone. LG Electronics has pre-announced a handful of devices already that it will officially announce at IFA, including the G3 Stylus device, the Gx2 smartphone and the G Watch R smart watch. Lenovo is also planning new product launches at IFA.
Meanwhile, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is holding an event in Berlin on Sept. 4 where it is expected to announce a new, Lumia-branded smartphone with camera-centric features. Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Motorola Mobility unit, which it is in the process of selling to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, is holding an event in Chicago on Sept. 4, where it is expected to formally announce its Moto 360 smart watch as well as its successor to the Moto X smartphone.
With all of the events taking place next week, many device makers are planning to have small or minimal presences at CTIA. Samsung is not expected to announce any new devices at the show or have major device executives on hand. Huawei's Consumer Business Group will have a presence at CTIA but the company's consumer unit will be focused on wireless modules and not new smartphones or wearables, according to a Huawei representative.
Representatives for Lenovo, LG, Microsoft's Windows Phone team and ZTE indicated that the companies are not going to have executives on site at CTIA or be making announcements. That could give more attention to smaller device makers like Alcatel OneTouch and Kyocera, but likely means that CTIA itself is going to be largely bereft of major device announcements.
CTIA is still going to have top executives as keynote speakers, including AT&T's (NYSE: T) Ralph de la Vega, who was just promoted to be CEO of AT&T's Mobile & Business Solutions Group, and Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) CEO Dan Mead. Former Sprint (NYSE: S) CEO Dan Hesse had been scheduled to give a keynote presentation, but he was replaced earlier this month by Marcelo Claure as the new CEO of Sprint. Claure has not taken Hesse's keynote spot at CTIA. Other keynote speakers at the show include FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Stephen Elop, Microsoft's devices chief, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) CEO Steve Mollenkopf.
- see this LG release
- see this Samsung release
- see this BGR article
- see this The Verge article
- see this Engadget article
- see this separate The Verge article
- see this Android Headlines article
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