LAS VEGAS —
Infusing CE products with the power of high-speed landline and wireless networks “will accelerate innovation” and make it possible to deliver the same TV content “to any device, anywhere anytime in a simple way,” said Verizon Communications chairman/CEO Ivan Seidenberg during his International CES keynote.
Seidenberg shared the stage with Verizon president/ COO Lowell McAdam, Time Warner chairman/ CEO Jeff Benkes, Motorola Mobility chairman/CEO Sanjay Jha, and Google’s Mike Cleron to underscore the potential for innovation.
McAdam pointed out that Verizon decided to “go early and first with 4G LTE-based cellular broadband to send a signal to the entire CE industry that the market will develop very quickly” and “speed up the innovation cycle.”
Networks will be as fast as PCs, he predicted, with Verizon’s fiber-optic network to the home and businesses having “no practical limit to speeds,” McAdam said. 4G-equipped smartphones “will be the biggest wave to hit computing since the invention of the PC,” he continued.
For his part, Time Warner’s Benkes said wired and wireless broadband will usher in a second golden era of TV in which TV content will be “going on demand in every device,” from TVs to PCs, tablets and smartphones. TV, he said, is “becoming bigger than TV.”
To make “TV Everywhere” happen, Time-Warner has brought together every content-distribution company, including cable operators and telcos, as well as content creators to develop a way for consumers who subscribe to a TV service “to have it on demand in every device” and have it work the same way and not pay more for it, Benkes said.
Tablets will be one of the ways consumers will access their TV programs, and to underscore the market potential for tablets, Google demonstrated its Android 3.0 OS, designed specifically for tablets and adopted by Motorola in its planed Motorola Xoon for Verizon’s 3G and 4G networks.
Motorola is targeting February availability of the 3G Xoom incorporating CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A, but purchasers who buy the 3G version will be able to upgrade it to 4G LTE sometime in the second quarter, when the 4G version will also become available, Jha said.
At the keynote, Google demonstrated key 3.0 features, including a new 3D-like visual design to the user interface, the easy addition of widgets to multiple home screens, ability to view windows on the home screen showing a calendar and email inbox, and such desktop features as tabs along the top of the screen for various apps.
Google 3.0 tablets lack hard buttons on front, replacing them with virtual keys that reconfigure themselves depending on what the user is doing.