What to expect at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show

Phil GoldsteinThe year is drawing to a close and that means that almost everyone in the wireless industry is gearing up for the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which officially begins Jan. 6.

Over the past several years the wireless industry has tried to turn the event into a showcase for smartphone launches, application developer events and, of course, carrier networks. This year I expect it to be no different, and analysts I've spoken with recently told me that they anticipate wireless to dominate even more of the show than it has in the past, especially as wireless connectivity becomes embedded in more consumer electronics.

Several dominant themes appear to be emerging ahead of the show. One is the alphabet soup of tablets that are going to try and steal market share away from Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. Another key theme will be the arrival of LTE in the U.S. market. (Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) CEO Ivan Seidenberg will deliver one of the keynote sessions.) A smaller theme will probably be the wireless industry's attempt to insinuate itself into even more aspects of consumers' homes, especially in the living room.

Amid all of the smartphone launches, 3D TV demonstrations and other electronic gizmos that will vie for attention at CES, I'll be thinking about these themes and a few other miscellaneous questions: When will Microsoft unveil a compelling tablet proposition? Will Nvidia finally shine in the mobile market? And why is it so difficult to hail a taxi going down Las Vegas Boulevard?

For a snapshot of what to expect at the CES 2011 show, click here to read our preview feature

This will be my first CES, so I'm looking forward to all of the excitement and frenzy the show promises to offer. However, I won't be going alone, as my colleagues (and CES pros) Sue Marek and Mike Dano also will be at the show covering the keynotes, product announcements and other happenings. Be sure to check out our complete show coverage at our CESLive microsite. --Phil

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