CTIA '08: Can Apple's competition bring sexy back?

Toshiba, LG and Samsung sure think so.While the tech world is alive today at CTIA 2008, news of products seemingly designed to compete with Apple offerings -- Toshiba's "Fusion" Satellite laptops, LG's Vu phone for AT&T, Samsung's Instinct phone for Sprint -- has emerged, and I'm getting the same kind of emotional rumblings that I had when companies first replaced matte black with silver on consumer products.

Toshiba SatelliteToshiba, LG and Samsung sure think so.

While the tech world is alive today at CTIA 2008, news of products seemingly designed to compete with Apple offerings -- Toshiba's "Fusion" Satellite laptops, LG's Vu phone for AT&T, Samsung's Instinct phone for Sprint -- has emerged, and I'm getting the same kind of emotional rumblings that I had when companies first replaced matte black with silver on consumer products. Remember that?

It's interesting to see such a renewed focus on the looks of a product, rather than how much software bloat can be forced into a package. In the case of the Toshiba, it's a new design named "Fusion" (or is it "Horizon"?), a sort of pinstriped, smoothed-edge affair and the inclusion of "Sleep-and-Charge" USB ports, which will charge accessories even when the laptop is asleep or powered down (provided it's plugged in).

LG VuFor the LG, it's a hip name attached to a 3-inch display that supports AT&T's Mobile TV service. Color? Black on black.

In the case of the Samsung, it's an iPhone-inspired design that isn't quite up to speed yet, at leastSamsung Instinct according to reports from the field. Here at CNET, we've got an editor's take on the phone's features, which include a 3.1-inch color touchscreen and "Visual Voicemail" -- as well as a neat slideshow.

While many of these design updates are long overdue and highly welcome, I think these products have a little way to go to approach the Apple products they seem to be chasing. What do you think?