It was January 2010, and front and center at CES was Steve Ballmer who "demoed" for us three (he really only used one) "slate" products running Windows 7. Well, "demo" is really an generous description. Ballmer picked the slate up, did a few things with it and then put it back on the shelf next to the other two "slates". We were told that 2010 would be a year full of slate product introductions — and it was going to be exciting!
Ballmer got his prediction half correct. On January 27, Apple launched the iPad — a real tablet that ran a sophisticated OS and it began shipping in mass in April. If you had an iPhone or iPod Touch, you knew how to use the iPad right out of the box: download software, sync with your computer and everything else. Even better your iPhone/iPod Touch software could be used on the iPad. Developers also were in luck as they didn't need to do much to adjust their apps for the iPad either.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has become the trade show for new computing products to the latest in remote control vacuum cleaners. To summarize, CES is an absolute circus, but it's a must-attend show for any business serious about the the markets in which they play — unless that business is Apple, Inc.
Since Apple exited MacWorld Expo in 2009 it has shunned industry trade shows and opted to conduct their own media events. Why share the stage when a spotlight can be had? Last year Apple waited for CES to blow by — with all the half-baked tablet announcements. Then on January 18, Apple issued invitations to their special event: "Come see our latest creation". This special event took place on January 27, where Apple amazed all with the iPad. This year proves to be no different. Apple will not be holding a special event prior to CES.