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4 Predictions From Vegas (Hint: Apple Investors Will Be Disappointed)

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This week, Las Vegas is home to the Next Big Thing. How big is Big? That's what my Motley Fool Rule Breakers teammate Karl Thiel and I aim to find out. We're here at the annual Consumer Electronics Show to visit some of the biggest names in TVs, cameras, chips, computers, games, and gadgets.

Last night, we got a preview of this four-day event that will end Sunday. Over a dinner of eggs, toast, salsa, and sausage -- it's not Vegas if you can't have breakfast for dinner, right? -- we batted around ideas and made our predictions. Here's what we think:

  • Investors believe Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) CEO Ivan Seidenberg will tease a new iPhone for his company's network when he takes the stage tomorrow. We're not buying it. This is Android's show, and Verizon will play along. Even the bookies think so: Online oddsmaker places the chances of Seidenberg surprising the audience with iPhone news at 25%. 
  • Seven-inch tablets will continue to dominate in what many here are calling the "Year of the Tablet." Never mind that these comparatively small form factor tabs make the comparatively feature-light iPad look awesome. The possibility of Motorola (NYSE: MOT  ) announcing a 10-inch Android tablet notwithstanding, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) investors probably won't have much to fear coming out of this week.
  • Karl expects we'll finally hear good reasons for connected appliances. Among the possibilities: energy management. Who cares what the fridge knows about the milk? How about helping us cut the power bill? General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) , which is showing a line of smart appliances, may have some answers.
  • And I'm holding out zero hope for interactive TV. For now, anyway. We've already seen bright screens from Samsung and others, but better displays aren't what matter. What I really want is a system that allows for real on-demand delivery of the media of my choosing -- over the network, from my library of owned movies, etc. -- to any screen in the house. Early indications say this sort of breakthrough is still likely to be years away. (Though what we saw from Boxee at last night's preview event shows promise.)

So those are our predictions. What are yours? What do you expect to see from the Consumer Electronics Show this year? Use the comments box below to let us know what you think, and be sure to check back here daily as we report on each of these themes and other stories as they emerge.

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Interested in more info on the stocks mentioned in this story? Add Verizon, Apple, Motorola, or General Electric to your watchlist.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He had stock and options positions in Apple at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy has seen big screens and wide screens, but never a big and wide screen. How come?

Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (11)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 05, 2011, at 5:36 PM, drsl wrote:

    What, no waffles at dinner?

  • Report this Comment On January 05, 2011, at 6:08 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    >>What, no waffles at dinner?

    Nope, but to be fair, Karl was sorely tempted by the 'stack of pancakes' special. (Grins.)

    Foolish best,

    Tim (TMFMileHigh and @milehighfool on Twitter)

  • Report this Comment On January 05, 2011, at 6:47 PM, cherifycash wrote:

    I found this interesting comparison between Roku, Apple TV and Boxee Box that is based on analysis of hundreds of their customer reviews. You and your readers may be interested to see this analysis as well at . You can also check reputation of other products if you go to, enter the product name or number (like "Samsung LN55C650"), select offered choice, and click on "Submit" button. The system will aggregate and analyze customer reviews to calculate the reputation metrics for you and will let you read the reviews if you want to.

  • Report this Comment On January 05, 2011, at 6:54 PM, rlcato wrote:

    If CEO Ivan wants the iPhone, chances are he will say nothing about it. You know how Apple is quiet about their products and no-one is allowed to steal SJ's thunder.

  • Report this Comment On January 05, 2011, at 7:20 PM, gdett2 wrote:

    You need to update your Motorola information to reflect the Name and Symbol changes to

    Motorola Solutions, Inc as MSI

    Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc as MMI


  • Report this Comment On January 05, 2011, at 7:40 PM, bbauer52 wrote:

    Tim: This a.m., CNBC spent considerable time talking about the On-Star apparatus/application that GM (or a subsidiary - did not catch the maker name) will be selling supposedly through Best Buy as the seller/installer. Was this covered at the show, such to pique your interest? Will this generate more interest in GM or Best Buy stock in the coming year(s)?? Since you were there, was interested in your take. Thanks for any response - Just a neophyte investor wishing she was in Vegas!

  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2011, at 1:02 AM, AndyHowells wrote:

    I want to know the platform that giant vendodrs such as apple and google launched for app creators. and which one is the best choice of company like ifunia, a video converter developer.

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