The keynote stage at the Consumer Electronics Show this morning belonged to Verizon Wireless but, in following the theme that seems to be resonating from the show this week, the presentation was centered around partnerships.
[CES Photo Gallery: Verizon 4G LTE keynote]
Sure, Verizon chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg, along with company president and Chief Operating Officer Lowell McAdam had plenty to say about what their company has done in the past, including a years-ago commitment in LTE 4G. But this wasn't just a forum for Verizon to talk about Verizon. That's because Verizon is only one part of a larger ecosystem.
Instead, the company invited Time Warner Cable, Motorola Mobility and Google to the stage to talk about the innovative things that those companies are doing. Time Warner, as the holder of the content, knows that consumers want their favorite TV shows on their terms - and that includes on their mobile phones. Despite all the buzz that the Internet is killing TV, Time Warner Cable CEO Jeff Bewkes said that everything is up - viewership, advertising, ratings and so on. And shifting that quality programming to devices of all shapes and sizes, without compromising quality, is one of the biggest efforts underway at Time Warner.
Motorola Mobility showcased the mobile devices that were unveiled at its own press conference yesterday - 4G devices that are bringing in new tools, new features and new connectivity cpacbilities that take advantage of the speeds that Verizon is delivering.
Likewise, Google offered a demo of the new Android operating system, codenamed Honeycomb, on a yet-to-be-released tablet PC. The features - from Gmail to Google Maps to e-reading - were well received and even prompted a few oohs and aahs when the maps demo showcased 3D images that tilted and zoomed. Jason Hiner of Tech Republic shot some video of the Honeycomb demo (embedded below). Check it out.
But this wasn't just about the corporate giants joining forces to take over the world. Verizon talked about its commitment to the ecosystem - its open development initiative for LTE, an LTE Venture Forum to help provide funding for entrepreneurs and. coming soon, an app innovation center.
It was almost fitting that the executives stood side by side as the keynote headed into its final minutes. In the consumer electronics game, you're only as strong as your partner (a good thing for Apple to remember about its carrier partner in the U.S.). That message, different from the "me too" presentation that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer offered last night, is the message that should kick off the Consumer Electronics Show.