Apple Returns to CES After 28 Years |

Apple Returns to CES After 28 Years

The company is making a return to the event after staying away for many years and is only making an appearance at a roundtable on security and data privacy


“What happens in your iPhone stays on your iPhone,” was a bold proclamation that Apple made when the world had gathered to showcase next generation technology gadgets at the 2019 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held annually at Las Vegas since more than half a century.

Barely 11 months later, Tim Cook’s team has announced that they would be attending the CEO in 2020 to promote data privacy and security, making it the first time in close to three decades that the Cupertino-based tech giant has made its presence felt at the annual jamboree that hosts presentations by companies on new products and technologies.

However, contrary to expectations Apple won’t be using the platform to showcase their products or technology, something which is to be expected from arch-rivals Samsung, Google and Microsoft. Instead, the company has chosen to take the stage along US government and Facebook to present their views on a hot favourite topic of the past 12 to 18 months – PRIVACY.

By the looks of it, the company has chosen the session with some care. The company would be participating in the Roundtable for Chief Privacy Officers at which Senior Director responsible for Global Privacy at Apple Jane Horvath would be presenting the tech giant’s perspectives on privacy, which it claims is a human right.

The webpage of the CES conference suggests that Horvath would be sharing the roundtable with colleagues from Wing Venture Capital, Facebook and Proctor & Gamble besides a representative each from the Federal Trade Commission of the United States. They would be discussing what customers are seeking when asking for data privacy.

However, by the looks of it, Apple wouldn’t be part of the rest of the circus and wouldn’t be having a booth or making any announcements or keynote speeches at the event, which began in 1952 though the first CES event was held in 1967 in New York city as a spinoff of the Chicago Music Show, which at that time had served as the main event for exhibiting consumer electronics.

In the past, Apple had avoided the CES though it would regularly organize the Macworld Expo frequently around the same time frame. The smartphone industry received a jolt when instead of unveiling their first touch phone at the CES, Steve Jobs had done it outside of their aegis in January 2007 when the company officially launched the iPhone.

The company was known to have made its appearance through junior officials who were tasked with the job of scouting for competition and possibly taking back some ideas for in-house discussion and possible development. In fact, Apple may not have formally participated in CES since 1992 but the fact remains that given the number of iPhone accessories that debut there, keeping Apple out has been quite a task.

The last time Apple had participated in CES, it was a disaster of sorts. Then CEO John Sculley had given a detailed presentation at the Chicago version of the summit on the Newton device. For those who may not have been born then, the Newton device was called the MessagePad and functioned as a handheld PDA – a term the company had coined to describe the gadget.

The gadget itself was pretty basic and could take notes, store contacts and manage calendars besides its ability to send fax messages. It had a stylus and could even translate handwriting into text, all at a time when handheld devices being considered as replacements for desktops was still in the realms of science fiction. You can read about the history of the world’s first PDA here.

Twenty-eight since, Apple is back at the CES having productised privacy, much to the chagrin of others who find themselves at the receiving end of governmental questions.

TAGS: Apple, CES, Privacy, Roundtable, MessagePad