2011 CTIA Show Targeting Retail Channel

By Joseph Palenchar On Mar 7 2011 - 6:01am

ORLANDO, FLA. — Wireless retailers attending this month’s CTIA Wireless 2011 show will find more retailer- targeted exhibits, see tablets on display for the first time, and look for announcements about the U.S. launch dates of products unveiled at the recent Mobile World Congress.

Scheduled at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., on March 22-24, CTIA expects about 40,000 attendees to show up, compared with last year’s 39,000 and 2009’s 34,000.

At the event, dealers and retailers are expected to account for 21 percent or more of total attendees as show organizers continue their stepped-up outreach to the retail channel. Retailers accounted for a similar percentage in 2010, and in 2009, retailers accounted for the largest single block of attendees for the first time.

To meet the needs of retailers, CTIA is expanding its retailer-targeted Wireless Zone, which consists of an Accessories Pavilion and a Retail Resource Pavilion, which showcases services and tools that retailers can use to boost productivity, including refurbishing programs. Also on display will be point-of-sale devices, kiosks, inventory-control solutions, and other products and services designed for “making the retail ecosystem become more profitable and efficient,” CTIA said.

This year, the Retail Zone will feature 200 exhibitors, up from 153, in 42,550 feet of exhibit space, up from 28,350 square feet, the association said.

Overall, CTIA expects about 1,000 companies to exhibit, about the same as last year, in 300,000 square feet of exhibit space, up 10 percent.

Exhibitors will set up shop in an Apps World Zone of more than 30,000 square feet. An Emerging Technology Zone for vertical markets will feature exhibits on cloud computing, mobile commerce, safe driving and health care applications.

Dealers will also find handset and tablet exhibitors HTC America, Haier Telecom, Hauwei, Kyocera Communications, LG Electronics MobileComm, Motorola, Nokia, PCD (Personal Communications Devices) Samsung Telecommunications America and ZTE. Exhibiting carriers include Clearwire, Sprint and T-Mobile. Wireless-modem makers include Sierra Wireless and Novatel.

Accessories makers will include Audiovox Accessories, ByTech, Cellphone Mate, Cellucom Distribution, i.Sound by DreamGear, Livio Radio, PanaVise Products, Panavise, Planet Cellular and Valor.

In the booths, dealers will be looking for updates on handset makers’ plans for U.S. availability of products unveiled at the Mobile World Congress or hinted at on carrier’s websites. Products to look for include the Android 3G version of T-Mobile’s Sidekick socialnetwork/ messaging phone, AT&T’s rumored HTC Revolver smartphone with Honeycomb tablet OS, and the rumored T-Mobile HTC Pyramid with dual- core Qualcomm processor.

Handset vendor ZTE will also outline plans to step up its U.S. presence.

Other previously announced phones whose U.S. availability hadn’t been revealed at press time include LG’s Optimus 2X Android phone, which will be among the world’s first cellphones with dual-core processor and first with 1080p video capture and storage. It’s supposed to be a 3G GSM/HSPA device.

Retailers will also look for U.S. availability of the LG’s Optimus Black, which LG claimed offers the world’s brightest cellphone display and will be the world’s thinnest smartphone.

The industry’s first glasses-free 3D phone, the LG Optimus 3D, with HSPA+ cellular data technology, dual-core 1GHz processor and 5-megapixel dual-lens camera that enables users to capture photos and videos in 720p 3D, and in 2D 1080p, for viewing on its 4.3-inch WVGA screen will also be on display.

HTC’s first tablet, which features Android 2.4 OS and 1.5GHz processor, will be at CTIA. And the industry’s first two smartphones with dedicated Facebook buttons, the HTC Salsa and ChaCha with 3G 7.2Mbps HSPA, are targeted to social networkers at moderate price points.

Samsung’s second-generation Galaxy Android tablet, whose upgrades include dual-core 1GHz processor and a 10.1-inch touchscreen, will be seen at CTIA featuring HSPA+ with a theoretical peak download speed of 21Mbps.

Samsung will also show its first 4G LTE-enabled Galaxy Tab, designed for the Verizon Wireless network with 7-inch enhanced TFT display with 1,024 by 600 WSVGA resolution.

Huawei’s slimmed-down Ideos S7 Slim tablet with Android 2.2 OS and a new slim smartphone, the Android 2.3-based Ideos X3, will be shown.

Dealers will also find the first phones with HDMI output conforming to the MHL (Mobile High-definition Link) standard. When the phones are connected to future MHL-enabled HDTVs, the phones will be powered and charged by the TV, and the phone’s A/V content can be accessed from the TV’s user interface and remote.

Besides walking the show, dealers will get an opportunity to sit back and hear what the industry’s leaders think. The keynote roundtable on day one will feature AT&T Mobility president/CEO Ralph de la Vega, Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse, T-Mobile USA president Philipp Humm and Verizon Wireless president/CEO Dan Mead.

The second-day keynote session will feature Light- Squared chairman/CEO Sanjiv Ahuja on the topic of mobile data, China Telecom EVP Yang Jie on the world’s fastest growing wireless market, Ericsson president/CEO Hans Vestberg on wireless’ role in the networked society, and Patrick Soon-Shiong, chairman/CEO of the Institute for Advanced Health. He will outline the changes that wireless is bringing to health care.

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