CES 2015 begins in just days away, running from Jan. 6-9, and it always provides a sneak peak about upcoming technology. So what can we expect at this massive conference? Raymond James analysts describe some of the major things they think investors should be watching at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.
Cars at CES 2015
The auto industry has been changing rapidly with new technology popping up in new vehicles year after year. The industry was fairly boring in terms of developments for years, so the innovations in recent years are a welcome addition to what had become a stagnant industry in terms of new technology.
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In a report dated Dec. 31, 2014, analyst Hans Mosesmann and his team argue that the disruption and growth in automotive technology is even greater than it is in smartphones, tablets and PCs right now. Several automotive executives are on the keynote schedule for CES this year, including Ford’s and Mercedes-Benz’s CEOs and General Motors’ Infotainment chief.
In addition to those speaks, several automakers and suppliers are showcasing their new safety and infotainment technologies. The Raymond James team notes that Mobileye won’t be presenting anything at CES 2015, but they think several automakers and suppliers will be showing off safety features that utilize Mobileye’s technology.
Smart homes and the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things or smart home category was big last year, and it is also expected to bring plenty of new technologies this year as well. The Raymond James team expects to see new connected video cameras, thermostats and appliances.
They note that just like last year, Control4 is the only publicly-traded pure-play in the segment right now. However, they expect semiconductor companies to show off new connected gadgets as well. Among the semiconductor companies they expect to show off technologies are Atmel, Marvell and ARM.
Consumer devices at CES 2015
Of course the wearable market continues to heat up, with the Apple Watch scheduled for launch early this year. This segment was also important last year, with several companies showing off wearable devices. Recently Samsung, Garmin and FitBit launched new devices, so the Raymond James team says it’s unclear if CES 2015 will be a “platform for high-profile new wearable product launches.” However, they expect to see some new “copycat products” from multiple vendors that want to secure shelf space in retail for the 2015 holiday shopping season.
The analysts are also looking for new smart TVs and connected set-top boxes. Specifically, they expect to see a new TV from Quantum Dot TVs, which they expect to be a better alternative to white LED-based TVs and OLED TVs. They also believe high-efficiency video compression in set-top boxes will “start to hit an inflection point” this year to become a “must-have check-off item” to play 4K or Ultra HD content. The analysts point to Broadcom as being the top player in this area.
They’re also looking for new slim notebook computers, tablets and hybrid devices at CES this year. They expect a wide array of devices running on Intel’s new 14nm Broadwell chips and ARM’s new systems-on-a-chip.
CES is really no longer one of the major platforms for new smartphone launches, but of course many expect Samsung to give a sneak peak at the Galaxy S6. The Raymond James team, however, expects this at the Mobile World Congress next month rather than at CES. Instead, they think Huawei will show off its Ascend P8 smartphone.