Who won at CES? While Apple sat out again, Samsung dominated social and online buzz

The Consumer Electronic Show (CES) is a huge event for the technology industry as companies fight to get their products noticed. If the analytics are to be believed, Samsung, Sony and LG won this battle – but not necessarily for what they actually showed during the event.

In several instances, awareness for these brands was driven as much by what they didn’t bring to the event as what they actually displayed, according to Amobee Intelligence.

TVs and computers were strong, as always, but washing machines, the Internet of Things and wearables rose in prominence. The auto industry also continued its growing involvement with the event, driven mostly by self-driving cars.

>See also: Looking back on CES: the biggest trends we can expect in 2015

According to mobile and social analytics, Samsung was indexed as the most ‘seen’ brand online during the week of CES. From curved computer screens and SUHD TVs with enhanced LCD backlights to washing machines with built in sinks for washing delicates, Samsung stood out for the sheer volume of products it brought to the event, as well as its renewed focus on the Internet of Things. By 2017, Samsung is projecting that 90% of its products will be connected to the internet.

Top of the class

While rumours that Samsung would debut the Galaxy S6 at CES proved untrue, it still drove a sizable amount of online chatter, driving speculation that it was showing the smartphone privately to carriers at the event. Galaxy S6 related interest represented 11% of all the Samsung awareness around CES.

Nearly as ubiquitous, Sony had 71% as much CES-related consumption as Samsung between January 6th and 9th. Among the Sony products generating interest were what it claimed was the world’s thinnest 4K TV, the Playstation Now app for cloud-based video games, a HD action camera with 4K video, and the relaunch of the iconic Walkman, which it has reimagined as a high-end HD music player with Bluetooth headphones.

Like with Samsung, much of the discussion around Sony was the highly anticipated Xperia Z4, which wasn’t publicly shown at CES as many hoped, driving discussions online that accounted for 24% of all Sony-related awareness at CES.

Another brand making waves was LG, which had 61% as much CES awareness as Samsung during the event. LG was the brand that did unveil their big smartphones at CES, with the bendable LG G Flex 2 accounting for 22% of all LG-related consumption at the event. Other hits included seven 4K OLED TVs with Quantum Dot Displays and an extremely popular Twin Wash washing machine, which pragmatically allows users to get two loads done at once. There was also a semi-mysterious smart watch built for Audi that allows users to unlock their car, among other functions. 

Apple had 9% as much CES awareness as Samsung, not because of what it presented at CES – it never does – but because its products were being compared to products that were launched, such as smart watch competitors to the upcoming Apple Watch.

Computing still strong

Meanwhile, Intel had 37% as much related awareness as Samsung over the course of CES. 12% of its CES-related consumption was around Curie, the button-sized platform meant to power the next generation of wearable devices, with another 6% related to RealSense. While RealSense is already in the market, much of the focus in the Intel keynote was around both practical and imaginative applications for the camera recognition system. Intel also made a big splash with its announcement that it’d be devoting $300 million to improving workplace diversity in their workforce.

>See also: The age of the Internet of Things is already here – we just have to work together, says Samsung CEO

Lenovo managed to draw 16% awareness as Samsung, driven by its lineup of Tab 2 A7 tablets, Flex 3 laptops and the S41 Notebook – all budget devices. Blackberry had 13% as much awareness as Samsung, largely around the announcement of QNX becoming an Internet of Things platform and BBM messaging coming to Android Wear.

Autos show well

For the second year in a row, it was self-driving cars that made the biggest impression at the event. With 11% as much awareness as Samsung, Mercedes-Benz made a splash with itself-driving car prototype, the F 015 Luxury in Motion. Meanwhile Audi had 10% as much awareness as Samsung around its own autonomous car and the previously mentioned LG watch prototype.

Meanwhile there was 46% as much CES-related awareness around BMW as Mercedes-Benz, primarily around the BMW i Home Charging Service for electric cars and its experimental ActiveAssist technology, which makes it impossible to crash a car when parking.

NVIDIA had 31% as much CES awareness as Mercedes, mostly around the Drive PX platform that identifies objects from up to 12 cameras at once and will be used to power self-driving cars. Volkswagen had 30% as much CES awareness as Mercedes around its Golf R Touch touch-less gesture-controlled interface concept and semi-automatic Park Assist feature. 

Ford had 19% as much CES awareness as Mercedes-Benz, mostly around its SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system. Similarly themed, Parrot had 13% as much CES-related awareness as Mercedes-Benz around The Simple Box, its connected automotive infotainment solution. 

Making less consumer focused news, Toyota had 8% as much awareness as Mercedes, on the heels of releasing 5,680 patents around its fuel cell technology. Finally, Chevy had 4% as much awareness around its last minute decision to unveil the 2016 Chevrolet Volt at CES, instead of the Detroit Auto Show a week later. 

Wearable buzz

If 2014 was the year wearables arrived at CES, 2015 was the year wearables arrived front and centre. There was more awareness around wearable technology than any other topic at CES this year. In fact there was 54% more awareness around it than around any other product area, with related subjects also dominating the list.

>See also: Is the future really bright for wearable technology? Only if businesses embrace it

There was 33% as much CES-related awareness around smart watches as around wearables itself, 28% as much around the Internet of Things, 27% as much around self-driving Cars, and 22% as much around drones.

Apart from areas that are directly related to the Internet of Things, there was 65% as much CES-related awareness around smartphones as there was around wearables, with the Asus Zonefone 2 and LG G Flex 2 leading the charge. There was only 27% as much CES awareness around tablets as there was around wearables, and 24% as much around cameras.

On the TV front, there was 48% as much CES-related awareness around 4K and 44% as much related awareness around curved TVs as wearables, indicating that 4K has replaced normal HD as the standard in that industry.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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