We would go to CES and remark at how Apple’s dominance loomed over
the show. Vendors of all shapes and sizes were rushing to be a
part of the Apple ecosystem. Apple’s ecosystem was front and
center with everything from iOS apps, to accessories galore for
iPhone and iPad, and even companies looking to copy Apple in many
ways. The last year or so, things have dramatically changed, and
that change is further evident at this year’s CES.
Gone are the days of Apple’s presence, or observably “winning” of
CES, even though they are not present. It was impossible to walk
the show floor and not see a vast array of interesting innovations
which touched the Apple ecosystem in some way. Now it is almost
impossible to walk the floor and see any products that touch the
Apple ecosystem in any way except for an app on the iOS App Store.
The Apple ecosystem is no longer the star of CES but instead
things like Amazon’s Alexa voice platform, and now Google’s
assistant voice platform is the clear ecosystem winners of CES.
While many Apple defenders want to dismiss the momentum we are
observing with the Amazon ecosystem on display here at CES, while
Amazon is similarly not present just like Apple, I believe it is a
mistake to do so.
It is easy to say that because Apple was never present at CES that
the show didn’t mean something to them or their ecosystem. It is
easy, and correct to say that CES was not, or never was, a measure
of the health of Apple’s products. It is, however, incorrect and
dangerous to miss that CES had been, for some time, a barometer
for the health of Apple’s ecosystem.
It may or may not mean anything for Apple, but I do think this is an interesting and undeniable observation.