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Top 7 CES trends for the Canadian market

The 2012 CES show produced products targeting the hyper-connected user

Greg Tobin, general manager of D&H Distributing Canada, attended the annual Consumer Electroncis show in Las Vegas last week, and he found that the major theme of the show was providing products for the hyper-connected, always-on user.

He told CDN that any kind of product with mobility that targeted this kind of user has some legs in the market.

Tobin’s top products areas from CES this year were mobility, network attached storage, VoIP and mobility accessories.

”These areas are not showing any signs of slowing down,” he added.

The No. 1 product area trend that got a lot attention was ultrabooks, particularly the Lenovo U300. Tobin said it was a “pretty” product that will fit the Canadian market well. It also competes well with the Apple MacBook Air. He added that he likes the entire ultrabook area and that it might be able to give Apple a run for its money in 2012.

“Ultrabooks give PC users a lot of flexibility. I port around a five-pound notebook and it’s not so good when you have to boot it up. I find I’m using my Blackberry more because of all the hot-spots; it’s quicker. The ultrabooks boot up really fast and can solve that problem,” he said.

Tobin went on to say that hard drives will have a big challenge in 2012. The Thailand flood created a shortage, but the decreasing prices on solid state drives (SSD) coupled with the rise of the ultrabooks may cause vendors to crank up production on SSDs.

Tobin added that D&H Canada’s numbers on SSDs are “through the roof”.

Other top trends from CES for the Canadian market from Tobin are:

2. Windows 8 will not be a game changer but will draw a lot of transformation in the Canadian market;
3. The biggest challenge to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend will be security;
4. Tablet market will be big because of price changes;
5. The channel will have to start to make money developing apps;
6. USB 3.0 still in flux; and
7. NAS will be big again and customers can’t get enough storage.

The biggest surprise from this year’s CES for Tobin was the Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) displays. Tobin said that he is close to securing some deals on OLED displays for D&H Canada. “The OLED products look very good and they are green. OLED has staggering picture quality. It was truly mind blowing when you look at the level of detail in the picture. It’s scary.”