updated 07:10 pm EDT, Thu October 18, 2012
Qualcomm to open 2013 CES instead of Microsoft
Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs will reprise his role from 2012 and 2010 and deliver the pre-show keynote address at next year's Consumer Electronics Show, it was announced today. Jacobs will speak at 6:30 p.m. PT on January 7, with the show kicking off the next day and running through January 11. The choice of the Qualcomm CEO struck some observers as peculiar, as some had expected CES' organizers to choose a representative from a more well-known company, given that Microsoft will not be in attendance.
Jacobs' selection, though, has been called indicative of a greater trend in CES, an expo that has become more focused on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets as the PC market continues to struggle.
Qualcomm is one of the larger players in the tablet and smartphone market, with its Snapdragon chipset and other technologies providing the processing power for a wide range of Android devices.
CNet reports that "born mobile" will be the theme of Jacobs' keynote. Analysts' estimates have the mobile market reaching 25 billion connected devices by 2015, a number that will likely figure heavily in Jacobs' address.
Microsoft announced last year that the 2012 CES would be its last appearance at the event, where it also would not be giving a keynote or hosting a booth. In announcing its departure, Microsoft noted that its product schedule typically doesn't align well with CES' January time frame. Others, though, say that CES' organizing body was "playing the field" for an alternative to Microsoft, and that the organization asked for a three-year deal at a higher price, whereas Microsoft was reluctant to commit to such an arrangement.