Sometimes the companies that don't make an appearance at the International Consumer Electronics Show speak even louder than those that do. At this year's event, which kicks off Jan. 8 in Las Vegas and is expected to draw more than 150,000 attendees, some major vendors will be noticeably absent -- or at least a lot quieter than they've been in the past.
Here's a look at five tech giants you won't find on the 2013 CES show floor.
2012 was a rough year for Nokia. The Finnish company saw its 14-year reign as the world's largest cell phone maker come to a screeching halt after Samsung stole its throne. Meanwhile, Windows Phone 8, Microsoft's new mobile OS that runs on Nokia's latest Lumia smartphones, has been slow to lure consumers away from competing devices running Google's Android or Apple's iOS.
This year is as good as any for Nokia to stage a comeback, but the company apparently doesn't consider CES to be the time nor place. Nokia has no plans to host a booth on the show floor, and a Nokia spokesperson confirmed to CRN that its CES presence this year will, in fact, be "scaled back." Nokia will, however, have a dedicated meeting space at the event -- just not on the main show floor.
For CES vets, this one won't come as a surprise: Apple, along with its new fourth-generation iPad and holiday blockbuster iPad mini, won't be on the attendee list this year. And, it probably won't be in 2014, either, if history is any indication.
Apple has always opted out of the CES fun, but that doesn't mean the Cupertino giant won't make its way into the show floor conversations, with each new tablet and smartphone likely being compared, at some point or another, to Apple's own iPhone and iPad.
Just as faithfully as Apple being a CES no-show, Microsoft has been a staple -- until this year, that is.
The software giant dropped a bombshell just prior to its appearance at last year's CES by announcing that the 2012 show would be its last. Frank Shaw, corporate vice president of Microsoft's corporate communications, explained in a company blog post that the software giant was exploring new ways to interact with its customers, namely, through its own retail stores and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
"Our industry moves fast and changes faster. And so the way we communicate with our customers must change in equally speedy ways," Shaw wrote.
Microsoft's decision to pull out of the 2013 CES comes at an interesting (and somewhat ironic) time for the company, considering Windows 8 and its new Surface tablets are targeted largely at consumers.
While HP isn't completely removing CES from its to-do list like Microsoft is, the PC maker won't have a booth on the show floor this year like some of its competitors. It's also been fairly mum on any new products attendees can expect to see at the 2013 event.
That said, HP's humble CES showing isn't exactly a shocker; the company's presence has been somewhat scaled back over the past several years. In 2012, HP introduced a number of new notebooks and displays, but the unveiling wasn't quite on par with the more than dozen new products it showcased in 2011.
Dell, like rival HP, won't have a booth on this year's CES show floor. Also like HP, the PC maker has been steadily downsizing its CES presence over the past few years.
Dell did contribute to the Ultrabook blitz that occurred at last year's event by unveiling its new XP3 13 Ultrabook during Intel's keynote address. But, according to a statement Dell provided to All Things Digital just prior to the 2012 CES, the PC maker is sharing in Microsoft's logic, evaluating "the most effective platforms" for engaging its customers. Dell also confirmed at the time that it was, in fact, scaling back its presence at future CES events.
Dell's shrinking CES footprint could also be a result of it investing more heavily in other events, such as its own Dell World conference, which it debuted in 2011.
PUBLISHED JAN. 4, 2013