Upon entering 2012, many people had this year pegged as an exciting year chock-full of various improvements to smartphones and countless, high-profile devices. We're almost a week into the fifth month of 2012 and we've been introduced to a plethora of high-end phones and tablets through the course of several giant trade shows and individual manufacturer events. And yet, beginning on Tuesday, there is one more major event for the first-half of the year.
CTIA Wireless 2012 pre-conference events will begin tomorrow in New Orleans, Louisiana. The show will officially kick off on Tuesday. But what should you expect? Should you prepare for some exciting announcements and jaw-dropping, drool-worthy tech?
From the looks of it, unfortunately, CTIA will likely be a rather uneventful show.
This show has already been predated by two international electronics and wireless shows: CES in Las Vegas and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Between the two past events, we were introduced to what will be some of the year's best devices, like the HTC One X and One S, Nokia Lumia 900, Samsung Galaxy Note (for AT&T) and the HTC Titan II.
Normally, that wouldn't mean much. But some manufacturers – most notably HTC – have chosen to step back and release fewer devices, favoring quality over quantity. And many of the biggest names in mobile have already outed all of their devices for now. Samsung, for instance, just held their own announcement event, Unpacked, in London to unveil their next flagship, the Galaxy S III. There are over 1,000 exhibitors slated to be at CTIA this year, yet Samsung, Microsoft and a handful of other big names are not on the bill.
Research In Motion is another that will be missing. They held the BlackBerry World event last week in Orlando, Florida. There, they showed off and announced their plans for BlackBerry 10. No hardware was announced, and there's no real reason for them to be there. We shouldn't expect to see any BlackBerry hardware before late Q2 at the very earliest.
So who will be there? A large number of smaller (but still known) manufacturers, notes Sascha Segan of PC Mag, "PCD, LG, HTC, Kyocera, Huawei and ZTE all have major booths." He also says there will be a handful of up-and-coming companies, such as Unnecto and Plum.
For all of you spec-junkies out there, all of the interesting announcements are behind us. CTIA will not likely bring a ton of intriguing hardware. But what it will bring are all the smaller, necessary announcements – those from underdog manufacturers who aim to challenge the few major companies that are dominating the U.S. mobile market.
No matter our expectations, it's always good practice to anticipate a curve ball or two. I imagine there will be quite a few tablet announcements. And, of all the manufacturers there, I expect Huawei to come out swinging the hardest. They're showing more and more interest in the U.S. market, and the Ascend P1 from CES was unexpected and impressive. They certainly have the ability to knock their CTIA presence out of the park.
As always, we hope some announcement will sweep us off our feet. In the event something major breaks, our fearless leader, Aaron Baker, will be our foot soldier on the ground in New Orleans. Keep your fingers crossed for some impressive devices and keep it locked on PhoneDog for your CTIA coverage.
Image via CNET