One and done. Our time at CTIA 2014 was short, but oh did we get to see a whole bunch of stuff. In a lot of ways, it was a condensed version of CES, just without the gigantic TVs. More importantly it was a great way to see how mobile accessories manufacturers handle themselves.
The day started with about 20 minutes of comments from noted non-dingo and FCC Chair Tom Wheeler, who went on to say absolutely utterly nothing once he got done reminding everyone that he actually did accomplish something at one point in his life. His comments, if you need a sleep aid, are posted here. The assembled crowd promptly exited the keynote right at 10am, just in time for the much more important keynote taking place at the Apple event far away. It was a clear indication of how much Apple still rules the mobile space even though they weren’t even at the show. The show floor opened at 11am, after Apple’s Tim Cook was done speaking.
iPhone 6 had to be the worst-kept secret of the show… the moment the Apple keynote ended, manufacturers big and small brought out cases already designed for the new phones, and some (like the maker of wooden appliques above) already had dummy phones. Folks, the days when Apple could do anything in secret are clearly over.
On the other hand, Samsung took the opportunity with a booth that was easily 2,000 square feet to show the myriad versions of its Galaxy line, including the US debut of its Galaxy Edge. This is the phone where the screen leaks over the edge. It’s a neat idea but it makes it hard to know where to hold the phone and, as one member of the team pointed out, it eliminates the idea of turning the phone upside down while it’s active to hide the light.
HTC sponsored the badges but the strange thing was that they had no booth presence at the show, only meeting rooms.
Probably the saddest booth at the show was the 10×20 exhibit shown above, where a Matt LeBlanc lookalike tried to convince people that Blackberry was still “a thing.” It was in a separate hall far removed from the hustle of the show and all I can say is, oh dear, oh dear.
On the other hand, all our cell booster friends were on hand and having a great time. SureCall showed their full line of industrial strength boosters, zBoost was teasing some great things for the fall, and Wilson announced the MobileMaxx, the most powerful mobile booster they’ve ever made. We got a quick look but our strong relationship with Wilson means we respect their wish not to post pictures… yet.
It was a whirlwind of a show, and although it continues today and tomorrow, everyone we talked to was on a plane today to Denver’s CEDIA Expo, and so are we! More stuff from that show tomorrow!