A Look Ahead at the Consumer Electronics Show

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CES The 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show kicks off tomorrow in Las Vegas. This show has increased in importance in recent years, even at the expense of COMDEX. Numerous handheld-related announcements are expected and tons of handhelds and peripherals will be on display.

Editor-in-Chief Ed Hardy will be at CES to report on the show in depth, including frequent reports and pictures.

What to Expect

Sony is expected to have a heavy presence at this show. Kunitake Ando, its President and COO, will be doing a keynote address on Thursday morning. The company is also holding a press conference on Thursday with SanDisk, almost certainly about larger capacity Memory Sticks. (Update: Sony and SanDisk announced the Memory Stick Pro at CES.) There’s no firm word that Sony will be announcing any New Handhelds but it has been over three months since it announced any new models, which is unusually long considering its very aggressive release schedule. (Update: Sony unveiled its CLIE PEG-NZ90 at CES.)

Back in November, Anthony Bonadero, director of worldwide mobile products for Dell, said his company planned to introduce two new models this month, and CES seems the most likely place to make this announcement. In addition to its already-available Axim X5, the company is expected to release the Axim X3, an even lower-priced handheld with fewer features, and the Axim X7, which will have more features and therefore cost more. No other details are available on these models at this time. (Update: No new models were launched by Dell at CES.)

This is certainly not definite, but there have been a few rumors that Toshiba plans to release a new handheld at this year’s CES. (Update: No new models were launched by Toshiba at CES.)

Some companies have already jumped the gun. Microsoft announced on Monday that it is developing CDMA-compatible versions of both Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphone 2002, and also reveled new wireless Pocket PC models from Hitachi and Samsung that will use the new OS versions. These will, of course, be on display at CES.

Garmin has said it will announce today at the CES a Palm OS 5 handheld with a built-in GPS receiver, though this isn’t expected to be available until later this year. (Update: Garmin unveiled its GPS handheld at CES.)

And even the companies that aren’t making big handheld-related announcements will be in attendance, showing off their latest and greatest. This includes Palm and PalmSource, Hewlett Packard, and others. Still, not everyone will be there. Handspring isn’t on the exhibitors list and neither is HandEra.

Of course, this isn’t just a handheld tradeshow, not by a long shot. Mr. Hardy will also send in first-hand reports on gadgets of all kinds that might be of interest to our readers. So keep checking this site for the rest of the week for Brighthand’s coverage of the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show.

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