The annual Consumer Electronics Show is underway in Las Vegas. CES 2020 is the year’s biggest event for new product reveals from technology companies ranging from giants like Samsung to start-ups. What is revealed at the show – and the reaction to these products — can have a significant impact on tech stocks over the course of the next year.
For example, at last year’s CES, one of the biggest announcements was that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) licensed AirPlay 2 streaming to a wide range of TV makers. For the first time ever, this let iPhone owners stream to these TVs without the purchase of an Apple TV. That set the stage for the launch later that year for the company’s Apple TV+ streaming video service.
Here’s what’s making the headlines at CES 2020.
Sony Unveils an Electric Car
No-one saw this one coming. On Monday, Sony (NYSE:SNE) shocked CES attendees when it unveiled the Vision-S, a fully functional prototype electric car. Is the company going to actually take on the likes of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)? Sony describes its ambitions this way:
Sony wants to re-imagine mobility as we know it. How can we inspire people through mobility? How can we provide greater peace of mind? How can we contribute to society and the environment? Sony will open up a new world of mobility using its creativity and technology.
The best guess is that Sony isn’t planning to become an electric car manufacturer — yet — but it does intend to use the Vision-S as a platform to market its technology such as image sensors and entertainment systems to auto companies.
5G and Wi-Fi 6
As consumers upgrade their smartphones, 5G is the the new ultra-fast cellular technology that’s expected to provide a big boost to tech stocks like Apple. Wi-Fi 6 is the latest standard for Wi-Fi, bringing greater speed to home wireless networking and support for multiple connected devices. It’s ideal for smart home installations.
Linksys showed off the Velop 5G Mesh Gateway, a device that combines a 5G gateway and Wi-Fi 6 mesh router in a single package. This lets consumers connect to 5G instead of broadband for their internet (once it’s available), then access it throughout the home using Wi-Fi.
Next Gen Console Gaming
One of the biggest events this coming holiday season will the launch of next generation video game consoles from Sony and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
The companies dropped a few more hints of what to expect at the Consumer Electronics Show. Sony touted the 106 million PS4s it’s sold to date, handily winning the current generation sales crown over the Xbox One. Playstation 5 news was limited to showing off the new PS5 logo.
Those waiting for more info on Microsoft’s forthcoming Xbox Series X got a glimpse of the new console’s dual HDMI and USB-C ports as part of a presentation by Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD).
Intel’s New Processors and GPU
Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has a big presence at CES. The company is pushing its new Tiger Lake mobile processors. Built using Intel’s 10nm+ process, Tiger Lake chips promise “double-digit” performance gains, integrated AI, improved graphics and Thunderbolt 4 support. High-performance laptops equipped with Tiger Lake processors are expected to ship later this year.
The company also showed off the DG1, it’s own computer graphics card. The release of the DG1 will put Intel in direct competition with AMD and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA).
AMD’s New Processors
AMD was one of the top-performing tech stocks of 2019, and the American chipmaker is determined to repeat in 2020.
The company used the CES stage to unveil its new Ryzen 4000-series mobile processors. At the top of the series is the Ryzen 7 4800U, which AMD says is 28% faster than Intel’s Core i7 for graphics performance, with 90% better multi-thread performance.
AMD is counting on the Ryzen 4000-series to take a big chunk of the laptop market from Intel in 2020, and announced more than 100 systems will be using these CPUs by year’s end.
Mini Gaming PCs
Gaming computers are always popular at CES, but this year the focus was on something more than just power. Thanks to the latest Ghost Canyon NUC standard for mini PCs from Intel, desktop gaming computers are going miniature.
Razer’s Tomahawk gaming PC was one of the standouts. This modular gaming computer features an aluminum and glass enclosure, with just enough room for a powerful graphics card from Nvidia. It’s half the size of a traditional desktop PC, and expected to start at around $2,000 with an Intel Core i7 CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 20-series graphics card and 512 GB SSD.
While it prepares for a possible IPO that would make it one of the more anticipated tech stocks of the decade, Impossible Foods is building excitement for it’s plant-based “meat” products.
The Impossible Burger was a hit at CES 2019, and this year the company was wowing journalists with its new offering: Impossible Pork. This product will make its consumer debut next week, when it becomes the “sausage” in a Burger King breakfast sandwich.
The stars of any Consumer Electronics Show in recent memory have been the TVs. Manufacturers pull out all the stops to showcase their biggest, highest resolution and most flexible TVs.
Highlights at this year’s show included Samsung’s latest “The Wall” TV — this time with a whopping 292-inch MicroLED panel — Sony’s Z8H 75-inch 8K LED TV and LG’s $60,000 rollable OLED TV.
Samsung also showed off the Sero, a 43-inch TV that rotates into portrait mode to watch vertical TikTok videos.
It wasn’t just Windows PCs that were making news at CES 2020. There were also some significant Chromebook developments. The first Chromebooks that qualify for Intel’s new Project Athena certification were on display. That standard requires laptops to deliver a minimum of nine hours of real-life battery, while delivering high performance.
Samsung was showing off its new Galaxy Chromebook, and it’s got to be making traditional laptop makers nervous. While early Chromebooks were cheap and bulky, the new Samsung model has a 4K AMOLED display, 10th generation Intel processors, Wi-Fi 6 support, and weighs just 2.3 pounds. It starts at $999 and comes in an optional Fiesta Red that makes other laptops look drab in comparison.
Apple Shows Up
Apple doesn’t do CES. The company has not sent a representative to the Consumer Electronics Show in 28 years, preferring to use its own events to launch new products.
So it was big news that Apple had an official presence at CES 2020. No, the company wasn’t showing off new MacBooks or iPhones. Instead, the company sent privacy chief Jane Horvath to participate in a panel on the hot topic of data privacy.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.