Controversy: Will Apple attend CES 2010?

by | Jul 30, 2009 09:26 AM ET

Will Apple show up to CES 2010?

Courtesy of Getty Images, David McNew

It might seem premature to gaze months into the future at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, but you can bet companies around the world are working on booth designs and presentation strategies right now. In fact, some were probably making plans the day the 2009 event ended last January.

The Consumer Electronics Show is one of the biggest tech industry conventions in the United States. Companies come to the show to demo new products and give vendors and the press a peek into possible future technologies. It's a bit early to make predictions about what will be big at the show next year. Even so, we're starting to hear some controversial chatter about what's going to happen at CES 2010.

The biggest news to hit the Web is a rumor I heard at last year's conference:  The 2010 CES will be the first time Apple products will be present in CES exhibits. As CNET reported last January, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) confirmed that there would be exhibits at the 2010 CES related to Apple. Yesterday, Ben Charny wrote in the Wall Street Journal's technology blog that not only would Apple have an official presence at the show, but also that Gary Shapiro, the head of CEA, invited Jobs to deliver a keynote address at the show (Charny attended a dinner held by Shapiro for a select group of journalists). Steve Jobs delivering a keynote would be as big as Bill Gates' swan song keynote at CES 2008.

Before all you Apple fans rejoice, you should take a deep breath -- several bloggers and journalists have called shenanigans on Charny's post. Ryan Block, a prominent blogger for Engadget (and other sites) who was also at the same dinner with Charny and Shapiro, states categorically that Shapiro never claimed Apple would attend CES 2010. In fact, according to Block, Shapiro said quite the opposite -- currently there are no plans for Apple to take part in CES. If Apple did decide to participate, the CEA might be able to make some room for the company. And Block says that at no time did Shapiro say that he asked Jobs to deliver a keynote. Other bloggers and reporters who were at the dinner agree with Block.

It's possible that Charny simply misinterpreted something Shapiro said. I wasn't there, so I am withholding my own judgment from the matter. I'd like to think that it's simply an honest mistake on Charny's part. After all, he would have to realize that making up a story about such a big event would be disputed immediately. But Block seems to think Charny's act was at least partly a deliberate attempt to attract more traffic to his blog.

Whatever the reason for Charny's post, this serves as a great example of the adage "don't believe everything that you read." Try to avoid accepting reports at face value and do a little digging. I include my own reports in that warning -- I happen to be a human being (despite Josh and Chuck's claims to the contrary) and once in a while I make a mistake. Other people also make honest mistakes and a few unscrupulous folks set out to deceive intentionally. Just make sure your critical thinking cap is on before you turn on your Web browser, okay?

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