This week the technology gods gather together in a Vegas to pat each other on the back and try to make bets on trends for the future. For every successful category launch the road is paved with numerous failures. Every year there seems to be an overarching theme; for the last few years it was 3D, prior to that it was true black contrast and cell processors in televisions. We are clearly in a transitional phase of technology with no unifying theme coming out of the show.
4G and LTE devices and network expansion announcements are all the rage at CES this week. T-Mobile is not one to be left out of the fray. Today T-Mobile unveiled plans to double the speed of its 4G network this year, which will be capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 42 Mbps. Moreover, the company announced that in 2011 it will launch at least 25 new 4G devices, starting with its first 4G tablet — the Dell™ Streak 7, expected to be available at T-Mobile stores across the country in the coming weeks. The company vowed to aggressively expand and evolve its 4G smartphone portfolio, launching additional devices capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps in the first half of 2011, and smartphones capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 42 Mbps in the second half of the year.
A whole slew of new sexy Android Phones are coming out in the next few months. HTC has just hit us their latest crop all featuring 4G speeds and there’s a phone for every carrier; the HTC EVO Shift 4G from Sprint, HTC Inspire 4G from AT&T, and HTC ThunderBolt from Verizon Wireless. Look at this we even have pricing and release dates? In a CES Press Release – egads, unheard of! The HTC EVO Shift 4G will be $149.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and activation on a new two-year contract and data plan. It will be available in all Sprint retail channels, including www.sprint.com and 1-800-Sprint1, on Jan. 9th. While Verizon and AT&T haven’t announced pricing on their headsets, one would think it wouldn’t be radically different than Sprint.
Yesterday Tmobile announced that they will carry the Android-Honeycomb powered 4G Tablet. The T-Mobile G-Slate will be among the first 4G tablets to fully benefit from the tablet-optimized Android 3.0 platform, which was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and addresses the unique aspects of tablet use cases and form factors. The Honeycomb user experience improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization. It will also feature the latest Google Mobile innovations including Google Maps™ 5.0 with 3D interaction, collection of more than 3 million eBooks and Google Talk™ with video and voice chat. And we have video!
This will be the first time in four years that I will not be attending CES. I already miss the fabulous Circus Circus hotel and it’s strange blended smell of Elephant Poop, Kids, Candy, Cigarettes and stale beer. I’ll also miss paying $20 a day for hotel Internet that never works and walking around the convention floor screaming like a psycho because my stupid iPhone won’t work or sighing in frustration as my Macbook battery dies an hour into a Press Conference. I will be covering this year’s show from the comfort of my couch and will give you the daily recaps that you all have come to love and expect as well as press releases on all the new product announcements as the week progresses. The convention floor opens Thursday, but the announcements will probably start today. Although in a weird twist, as far as I can tell today isn’t the official Press Day any longer as there are a lot of Press Events tomorrow. Be sure to check out our CES Hub for the latest dirt.