What To Expect At CES 2024
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024 is fast approaching. Here’s what we’re expecting to see from the world’s biggest electronics expo.
Where does the year go? We’re now only a few short weeks away from 2024, and that means we’re an equal kind of distance from the 2024 iteration of CES in Las Vegas. Every year the tech industry comes together in Sin City to show off and announce the latest and greatest in technology. At least, that’s the theory; if you believe the CES show hype it is the self-proclaimed “most powerful tech event in the world”.
When Is CES 2024?
Strictly speaking, actual CES 2024 takes place between Tuesday January 9th and January 12th in Las Vegas, Nevada, but realistically, you’ll start seeing news from CES at least from about Sunday the 7th, if not before.
That’s because while the show itself doesn’t kick off until the Tuesday, there are always media days beforehand for larger announcements, plus private briefings and, frankly, a whole host of releases that kick off beforehand anyway. It’ll be surprising if we don’t see a few pre-CES CES announcements in December 2023, because that’s usually also the case, though it’s often more in the style of companies announcing that they’ve already won CES awards, mostly.
How Can I Go To CES 2024?
You can’t – or at least you can’t unless you work in the tech media or for a technology company that’s either exhibiting at CES 2024 or not-so-subtly hiring out a hotel room to demonstrate products to tech journalists at the exact same time as CES 2024 is taking place.
CES is an industry-only event, though because consumer electronics covers an incredibly broad swathe of daily living, there’s quite a lot that can be shown off at a given CES.
What To Expect At CES 2024
In broad terms, at most CES events, there’s a mix of simple reveals of the specific products that will go on sale at some point in that calendar year, plus a few future-looking innovations that might come along a little later – or sometimes never at all. There’s also a slew of more industry-specific announcements from big players in the tech space, plus a lot of smaller and niche firms just trying to grab a little attention amidst the chaos.
CES is big, and, a bit like if you’ve ever attended San Diego Comic-Con, it’s not really just “one” show any more, because technology pervades so many aspects of consumer life. It really does take over the Las Vegas landscape for the week, and you could focus in on just one area and find enough interesting material to keep you rapt longer than the conference runs for.
It’s also a little early in the hype cycle, with most of the bigger players yet to more formally announce their specific plans. Still, there’s a few key technology areas where we can expect to see most of the attention fall.
TVs: What’s New On The Big(ger) Screen? Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia
While CES had its roots largely in companies showing off radios – yes, it’s really been going that long – these days the dependable category to see new innovations year in, year out is in the TV space.
Here it’s a safe bet we’ll see players like Samsung and LG duke it out over TV supremacy, an especially interesting battle given Samsung’s long insistence that OLED wasn’t a good TV technology – until it flipped last year and started selling its own QD-OLED models, including here in Australia. It takes no crystal ball gazing whatsoever to suggest that we’ll see 2024 QD-OLEDs with further smart refinements from Samsung at CES 2024.
Not that LG is going to give up its long-entrenched OLED supremacy lying down, because it no doubt will have new OLED TVs to show off, most likely as the LG C4 OLED and LG G4 OLED range.
It’s also likely we’ll see announcements from the likes of Hisense, Sony and others in the TV space, though this is an area where it’s not uncommon to see brands that don’t officially sell here in Australia make big splashy pronouncements at CES 2024. That partly speaks to the show’s US-first focus, but I’ve also added “officially” there because some of these models are from Chinese manufacturers that get white-label rebranded through some budget Australian brands before being sold here.
Either way, if history is any guide, we can expect to see the new premium and more affordable TVs from CES 2024 land on our shores roughly around mid-2024.
New Computers, GPUs and Chips… Oh My. Image: 20th Television Animation
Without a shadow of a doubt, CES will see big technology brands in the personal computer space show off their wares. Expect new gear from the likes of Dell, Asus, Lenovo, HP and probably Razer. Razer does also love using CES to show off both new peripherals and some truly oddball innovations, not all of which make it into production — one of which was rather infamously stolen direct from the CES show floor. I was there that year (and its triple-screen laptop was so sweet), but I swear, it wasn’t me.
You can’t have new computers without new processors and GPUs, and both are likely to be there in abundance, with Intel and AMD doing their usual squaring off as to whose silicon is superior. For AMD, that’s likely to be new Ryzen 8000 processors, while Intel will likely reveal more around its Meteor Lake-H processors at the very least.
Meanwhile, NVIDIA, who recently have been making all the money, are tipped to be likely to show off new GeForce RTX 4070 Super and RTX 4080 Super graphics cards, as well as a special address that will probably speak to the company’s wider ambitions across everything from AI to automobiles, gaming and beyond.
New smartphones? Maybe…
Full on smartphone launches at CES events have been something of a rarity. That’s partly down to the fact that MWC in Barcelona typically follows on a month after CES, and many firms used to hold their fire until they could debut at a more mobile-centric event. However, what we’ve also seen are phone makers not wanting to share the focus with any other gadgets at all, and instead holding their own launches for specific premium smartphone models.
One rumour suggests that Samsung might use CES 2024 as the launching pad for the Galaxy S24 range, but that would seem to fly in the face of the way Samsung loves to hold “Galaxy Unpacked” events for that precise purpose.
Where that does leave space for smartphone launches at CES is in the mid-range and budget space. That’s where we might see (for example) Samsung announce new Galaxy A series phones, or TCL announce new more affordable fare. Likewise HMD Global could use CES to debut new Nokia-branded handsets, or even some under its own branding.
Again, CES can be tricky for some of these devices which may be destined to be US-only, or for emerging markets only, especially towards the lower end of pricing scale.
Will We See Apple At CES 2024? Image: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Well, only Tim Cook knows for sure, but I’d certainly put down a tenner that we won’t, because Apple has never bothered to do so before. It’s very much the example of a company that doesn’t demonstrate at CES, or even comment on why it doesn’t.
However, that doesn’t mean we might not see Apple-specific gadgets at CES 2024, for one very simple reason. With Apple having sent the Lightning port off to live on a farm (yes, it’s very happy there, no, you can’t go visit), it’s begrudging adoption of USB-C opens up the floodgates for a bevy of new peripherals, many of which will have been waiting in the wings for Apple to make the switch official.
It did that back when it launched the iPhone 15 series, but Apple generally doesn’t comment on specific USB-C compatibility. The months between that launch and CES 2024 gives plenty of time for peripheral makers to test out and prototype devices, if not in fact get them into broader production, so it wouldn’t be too shocking to see a lot of iPhone-15 specific gadgets at CES 2024.
What about the weird and wacky gadgets?
CES is always home to some unusual prototypes, a smattering of weird gadgets, and just a few devices that make you wonder what on earth their designers were thinking. They’re interesting for a gander but, not that I want to be too critical (for once) or dampen anyone’s enthusiasm, but a lot of these devices are more in the prototype/speculative stage when they’re shown off at CES, sometimes for several years in a row.
They’re shown off by smaller firms mostly looking for both attention and for bigger firms or VCs to partner with them, providing funds or possibly even complete buyouts.
I mean, I can recall a running joke amongst Australian tech journalists attending CES for a while back there about a particular laundry folding robot that was being presented as “new” at CES for what felt like five years running. It’s been a while since I’ve attended a CES in person, to put it politely.
It’s late 2023. Do I have a laundry folding robot in my home? I do not.