Just As I Thought

Announcing an Announcement

Apple famously pulled out of trade shows a few years back, and like most Apple decisions, time has shown that they were right on target.

Apple famously pulled out of trade shows a few years back, and like most Apple decisions, time has shown that they were right on target. Old corporate wisdom says that you make big announcements at trade shows to get maximum publicity and to, well, rub your competitors face in it.

But the problem with this is that your timing decisions are made by the trade show dates. When you announce something that isn’t ready yet or doesn’t go on sale for a while, you’ve just told all your competitors in the surrounding booths a heads up on what you’re working on. Feeling compelled to make announcements at a trade show results in a slew of press releases touting products that haven’t seen the light of day and boom — you’ve squandered your early-adopter demand.

Let’s take a look at a few of the announcements starting to flow from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

  • Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock: A new $300 hub device that leverages a Thunderbolt connection (which has been on Macs for about a year now) along with Ethernet, HDMI USB and Firewire. People have been waiting for a year for peripherals with Thunderbolt, but instead they get a hub to connect non-existent peripherals. Oh, and it won’t be available until September 2012.
  • iCade iOS Game Controllers: Clever and amusing game controllers that your iPhone or iPod can snap into. Makes your iOS device look like an old 1970s game console while you play Pac Man. Hilarious, funny impulse purchases. Oops – sorry, not available until an unspecified date in the spring.
  • LaCie eSATA Thunderbolt Hub: Yay! Another hub! This one lets you use external eSATA drives on your Thunderbolt-equipped Mac. The one that’s been sitting around like an anxious virgin since last February waiting for something to plug into its shiny new Thunderbolt port. No price yet. No release date yet. Oh, but CNET “expects” it to be available in the Spring.
  • OCZ Thunderbolt SSD: Hey! A Thunderbolt peripheral! “No timeframe for release.”
  • AR Drone 2.0: This fun item is a remote flying device, controlled by your iOS device. The 1.0 version is in the stores now, but I’m betting that sales start to tank – ‘cos here they are announcing a 2.0 version that isn’t available until the 2nd quarter of 2012. D’oh!

Hey, everyone! Let’s go shopping! We’ll meet at Best Buy sometime next fall.

Update:

LG shows off smart TVs that respond to speech

LAS VEGAS — Talking to the TV is usually a sign of extreme agitation, mental instability or loneliness. LG Electronics is set to make it a more rational behavior this year, with a range of TVs that respond to speech.

LG will sell a remote with its high-end flat-panel TVs that contains a microphone. You’ll be able to speak into the microphone to enter text on the TV for Twitter updates and Web searches. You won’t be able to change the channel or control the volume by yelling at the TV.

Via Mercury News

What the hell is the point of this? This TV comes with a remote that you can speak to, to post Twitter updates. You CAN’T use it to change the channel or the volume.

Seriously.

Oh, wait. I should say Siriously – ‘cos it’s pretty clear that this waste of time is designed to preempt any Siri-enabled TV from Apple. Mark my words: when such a device arrives from Cupertino, you’ll hear from LG fanbois (are there such things?) claiming that LG “had voice recognition first.”

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