By Steve Smith on Jan 10 2012 - 9:29am

'Nobody Comes Here Anymore. It's Too Crowded'

The words above are attributed to the great philosopher, athlete and Italian-American icon Yogi Berra about his experience working at a local, popular restaurant in his native St. Louis neighborhood.

The same can be said about International CES. There have been a few shots taken at CES in recent days in the media. So some of you may take the following with a grain of salt, probably several. (TWICE is the publisher of the Official Daily of CES with its editorial staff and help from top, expert freelance writers, but what I am about to say comes from my experience attending CES over the years.)

In recent days some have said International CES has lost its luster, since fewer major players (Apple, Amazon) introduce products here, that “top manufacturers” (see Apple, Amazon) fail to introduce products preferring “special events” during the year.

First off, Apple, in my experience, has never exhibited at CES. It has always followed its own drummer and gone its own way. Amazon has participated at CEA events in the past, but not at CES, and also is powerful enough to do what it wants. Amazon, which has become as a retailer/manufacturer is similar to Apple, which is a manufacturer/retailer.

Their business models are basically different than other attendees.

Up and coming technology companies need CES to prove themselves and show their wares. The same is true of existing brands - that are neither manufacturer/retailers or retailer/manufacturers. They need CES to prove themselves on the big stage.

Two media events - CES Unveiled on Sunday and CES Media Day (a gauntlet of press conferences) - were packed more than I can ever remember.

CEA, producer of the show, has welcomed all industries over the past decade and more, along with media to highlight the industry’s innovations and also to highlight innovations in related industries. And it has welcomed all media.

As for the criticisms of CES, there have been a few. But even the detractors said that there will be more attendees (149K?) than last year. CES needs to highlight the products and innovations of the entire CE industry, both the small start ups and major brands and compare, side by side, who might be winners at retail.

As in the words of the great American Yogi, “Nobody comes here anymore. It’s too crowded.”

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