Apple has a long history of over-shadowing major rival trade shows. When the company participated in the MacWorld expo years ago, that show had coincided with the International CES convention held in the early part of January in Las Vegas. Apple had strategically utilized the original aluminum-clad iPhone’s announcement at MacWorld in 2007 to lure reporters and media attention away from exhibitors at CES back to San Francisco, California where the company unveiled its first generation flagship smartphone.
Flash forward several years later and we’re now at the iPhone 5. With recent rumors that the iPhone 5 may debut around October 10th, which is the eve of the CTIA Fall 2011 trade show is to begin, will all eyes be on Apple again and away from any mobile announcements at CTIA?
For those unfamiliar to trade show names, CTIA is a trade show for the mobile industry. CTIA Spring was when HTC and Sprint had debuted the first HTC EVO 4G and CTIA Fall a year ago saw the debut of Sprint ID alongside three entry level smartphones. The original Galaxy S and the Galaxy Tab 7 was also shown off for the first time at a CTIA trade show.
Even if Apple’s newly appointed CEO Tim Cook announces the iPhone 5 hardware in advance of CTIA and release the hardware between October 10-15, the iPhone’s release date would still be in the back of the minds of journalists, bloggers, reporters, analysts, and consumers. Any announcement coming out of CTIA Fall 2011 would be overshadowed by the looming thought of the availability of the iPhone 5. And if the iPhone 5 is made available for consumer purchase on October 10th–the eve of CTIA–I can imagine long lines around Apple stores in San Diego, California, the site where CTIA is set to happen, filled with reporters who will forego attending CTIA to cover the much anticipated, much hyped, and much rumored iPhone 5.
And considering that CTIA is supposed to be a wireless showcase for the industry, with partners that include Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and many others, it would be a shame if one member went rogue and over-shadowed the entire show. If the iPhone 5 is expected to land after CTIA concludes on October 15th, will mobile tech companies be too fearful to launch new products at the show knowing that their announcements will soon be forgotten by the behemoth that’s known as Apple? After all, we’re already hearing Verizon is speculated to be delaying the launch of at least one next-generation Android phones to accommodate Apple.