The holidays are barely over – and if you’re an NFL fan the holidays aren’t technically over until the big game in just about a month – but already the major consumer electronics retailers are thinking about the next holiday season. And this begins every year in Las Vegas with the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). While I expect many big announcements, at this point much of what we’re hearing is only in the “rumor” department, but the rumor mill is working overtime.
Sprint’s 4G CES
One rumor circulating already is that Sprint might be showcasing its 3G/4G technology at the show. The word is that Sprint could be partnering with Sierra Wireless to create a system that would utilize Sprint 4G (WiMAX) along with the EV-DO 3G data network. If this is indeed at the show it could suggest that Sprint will increase its WiMAX network, which is now available in 27 markets, and this could happen as early as February.
According to what is circulating now, the companies maybe providing a mobile hotspot device that will be able to handle up to five users via WiFi and have a range up to 100 feet. This would be ideal for those with small offices or home offices and don’t want to be tethered via wires. This could be especially useful for outdoor settings or in offices where getting traditional wired broadband isn’t entirely practical. We’ll have to wait until some sort of official announcement regarding pricing and availability.
New Handsets on the Way?
The worst kept secret of this year’s CES might just be the latest Google-powered handset. The Nexus One, which is being built by HTC, would make its debut next week – although not technically at CES. In fact, it seems that Google is taking a playbook page from rival Apple by announcing that the official invite-only press event is taking place today in Mountain View, California – a day before the official press conference day of CES! What is known – or at least believed to be known about the phone – is that it is a GSM-device that will have a 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen, 5 megapixel camera, and of course Wi-Fi connectivity. It will be run on the Android 2.1 operating system, and thus feature nifty tools such as a compass and accelerometer. What is very interesting is that the phone will be sold unlocked, meaning that owners won’t be locked to a particular carrier when purchasing it. We’ll be waiting for the official word on pricing and availability.
Ironically, it is also rumored that Motorola will be unveiling at least two new Android-based handsets. The word here is that one could be for Verizon, thus a follow-up to the Droid, and one for AT&T. These new handsets could be similar to the Droid as well, and will likely feature the MotoBlur software.
Check back for the latest news from the Consumer Electronics Show.