Replying to: To Rich or Eric by casualsuede
I think it was just the venue. Because CES is in the same place, and a lot of the same people go to both shows, people might have been subconsciously comparing it to that. CES is so insane, and CTIA is so much smaller, that of course it's going to feel small.
It's also a huge convention center, (it has to be to handle CES,) so CTIA was fairly spread out in the large space, giving it an empty feeling. I definitely noticed wider aisles, etc. compared to CES, and past CTIA shows.
But maybe a better yardstick was the press events. Those are in the same types of ballrooms not matter the city, and even they felt like there was less attendance than past years (by both companies and press).
The mobile industry is so huge and growing - in this and every country - that if there was actually less attendance, it must be a fluke.
But as for announcements, there were definitely less this year, and that will definitely continue.
Companies can't afford to announce a whole year's lineup at one trade show anymore. These days companies time products announcements very carefully, down to the month, so they end up holding their own press events at times that work for them (like Sony Ericsson did last month) instead of waiting for trade shows.
Technology moves too fast, the industry is too competitive, and too much is at stake. Just look at how fast the industry reacted to the success of the RAZR, and copied it. That's a perfect example of why Motorola now keeps new products secret until they are almost ready to launch. If they announced their whole 2006 lineup at CTIA, that would give Samsung an extra 6 months to start working on a competing product for Motorola's big 2nd-half flagship phone. There's no way they want to let that happen.
Plus the industry is simply growing to the level where the big companies don't need the trade shows anymore. They can attract attention just fine on their own. Look at the event articles we did in the last year. Nokia flew us (and a couple hundred other journalists) to Amsterdam to announce the Nseries. We were in New York for Sony Ericsson and Chicago for Motorola. All of those events are happening again this year.