Ivan Seidenberg is passing the torch to current Verizon Wireless boss Lowell McAdam
later this year after a long career with Verizon, so today's keynote session starting at 8:30AM PT (11:30AM ET) should be a bit of a swan song for him. We don't know what he'll announce, if anything -- Big Red's official press conference is later today, where presenters are expected to offer more details on the carrier's range of LTE
handsets -- but we'll naturally be looking out for teasers and tidbits here this morning. Read on!
10:08AM And that's it!
10:07AM "In my judgment, we'll start manufacturing in a high-tech way here in the US again."
10:07AM "We're testing our connected home solution that'll roll out in the first half of this year."
10:05AM "Just a few words to close." Any announcements here, Ivan? No?
10:05AM Ivan's back!
10:02AM McAdam's talking about the new Apps Innovation Center coming later this year in San Francisco that gives devs a place to test and develop awesomeness.
10:00AM Jha says there'll be lots of new opportunities. Bewkes says content on every device.
9:59AM Ivan asks "any final predictions from you guys?"
9:59AM All the CEOs are reconvening on stage!
9:59AM "We're really excited about this release, and there's a lot more good stuff that we're working on -- so please stay tuned."
9:58AM Voice calling now -- we're hooking up with Matias Duarte right now!
9:56AM Next, Google Books. Arc-shaped 3D linear book browser is cool, but if you have a LOT of books, we could see how it could be sub-optimal.
9:56AM Ha, they're showing the leaked Honeycomb video through a YouTube posting by Android Police!
9:55AM Now we're checking out YouTube.
9:55AM "I can tell you from extensive personal research that this game is really great on this hardware."
9:54AM Demoing Dungeon Defenders!
9:54AM Task switching being shown -- there's a thumbnail for each app so you can see what was going on. Card-based UI once again!
9:53AM He's demoing Maps' 3D mode, though that's something we've already got on the latest version for Android phones. The crowd audibly oohed and aahed at that -- guess they're all using other devices!
9:53AM Now we're seeing Gmail -- paned, of course, thanks to the large display -- and Maps.
9:51AM Looking at the tabbed browser now.
9:51AM Now he's demoing adding widgets to the home screen -- quite different from the Android status quo, since you've got a dedicated "+" button to bring up a pane where you can browse widgets.
9:50AM "You'll see we have an entirely new visual design for Honeycomb -- we were going for something that was both futuristic and familiar."
9:49AM Just saw Engadget in the tablet's bookmarks widget. Awwww!
9:49AM "First thing you'll notice is that there are no buttons in front -- the buttons are virtual, they're drawn with pixels." He mentions this means they can be customized depending on what's going on with the device, and the orientation is always correct. Quite true.
9:48AM Now we've got a Google guy out showing Honeycomb in action!
9:47AM "Google's releasing a new version of Android called Honeycomb that'll work on these great 4G devices." Phones included, then?
9:46AM "We're very excited about how these devices bring together 4G and the Android platform to deliver great new experiences."
9:45AM Now we're seeing the same Xoom promo video we saw yesterday during the Moto press conference.
9:44AM Now he's got the Xoom out. "Again, this is a combination of the work that has done by Google to deliver the world's first Android 3 tablet."
9:43AM Dual-core processor, LTE. "I call this combination 'the end of waiting.'"
9:43AM He's got the Droid Bionic out, talking about how awesome it is.
9:43AM Jha's talking about how fast Android is growing -- it's the second-biggest smartphone platform in the world.
9:42AM They're reminiscing about the Droid when they first started thinking about it way back in '08. Memories!
9:40AM Now we've got Lowell McAdam up with Motorola Mobility boss Sanjay Jha.
9:40AM "Jeff, we're delighted to work with TimeWarner. We want you to keep working on all that fun stuff, and we'll keep working on getting it to consumers in a simple way."
9:38AM Now we've got a wacky graphic up showing all the content providers you need to pull together to recreate something like Verizon's FlexView. We'd almost say there was some kind of latent animosity toward content companies here, but it's TimeWarner's CEO talking.
9:36AM Jeff: "We had this concept, we called it TV Everywhere. Now we have every distribution company trying to create a uniform approach to this for consumers." Basic concept: if you subscribe to some form of content, you should be able to see it on any device on demand at no extra cost. Sounds about right to us!
9:35AM "So, Jeff, I see you have all this extraordinary talent with TimeWarner, and now you're making your acting debut."
9:33AM Ellen DeGeneres and "Marky" Mark Wahlberg, Zach Galifinakis, Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper... the list just keeps going. Everyone's watching themselves on iPads.
9:32AM A couple sitcoms with multi-screen gags, then TNT's NBA crew. Wolf Blitzer! TimeWarner really pulled out all the stops here.
9:31AM Conan O'Brien just showed up on video... and he's watching himself on like twenty different screens ranging from televisions to iPads to phones. We see what's going on here.
9:28AM "This is the best programming explosion in more than a generation."
9:27AM "I think the first golden era [of television] is when it was invented, and the second is now."
9:26AM Ivan's got TimeWarner CEO Jeff Bewkes with him.
9:26AM "Consumers are actually watching more TV than ever before -- what's changing the game is how they're watching video."
9:26AM Ivan's back!
9:25AM "Innovation on this scale can only happen through collaboration with strategic partners."
9:23AM "The final piece of the picture is the cloud... Verizon's centers around the world give us the infrastructure to be a big player in cloud services."
9:22AM Talking about FiOS now: 18 million homes when the rollout completes, 150MBps service now available. Four and a half minutes to download HD movies over FlexView.
9:21AM Talking about 100Gbps straight to the home within a few years powered by multi-terabit connections on the back end. Yow.
9:20AM Now he's talking about the growth in fiber -- LTE cell sites are all connected with it.
9:19AM "Yesterday, Motorola introduced the Droid Bionic and the Xoom, their new phone and tablet." No mention of the Atrix for AT&T, amazingly! He says we'll see devices from LG, HP, Samsung, and Novatel later in the day at Verizon's press conference.
9:18AM He says latency is cut in half with LTE -- pretty critical for some applications.
9:18AM McAdam's underscoring the fact that they'll blanket their nationwide network with LTE over the next three years.
9:17AM "We bought spectrum in the 700MHz range and set out to build the fastest, most advanced network in North America."
9:16AM "We're changing the game again across all of our networks -- wireless, broadband, the internet backbone, and the cloud."
9:16AM Here comes Lowell McAdam of Verizon Wireless -- and the Verizon heir apparent.
9:15AM "Now, it's time to turn the wheel again -- what will consumers want in the next ten years? 3D? Holograms? Smart homes? Smart societies?"
9:14AM Ivan's going down memory lane here, talking about growth in phone use and data use.
9:13AM First mention of 4G in the keynote!
9:11AM "Earlier when you came in the room, you were asked to turn off your wireless devices. When Verizon is up here, turn 'em on. Ping all you want." Confidence!
9:10AM Here comes Ivan!
9:09AM There's some weird, spacey, constellation stuff going on right now accompanied by trippy music. People in the background are talking about data and signal strength.
9:08AM "It is my pleasure to welcome Verizon as our opening keynote." Video time!
9:08AM Shapiro's talking up Seidenberg's credentials -- we think he's about to come out.
9:07AM Here's a weird one: CEA owns the name "World Trade Center Las Vegas," and it's teamed up with the Las Vegas convention bureau to add the new name to the Las Vegas Convention Center where CES is held.
9:06AM "I believe history will be made today by our keynote speaker." Tease!
9:03AM "We've attracted virtually every leading consumer electronics company [to CES]." We can think of one you haven't, Gary!
8:59AM Now we're getting a little plug for Shapiro's new book, The Comeback. "I urge you to buy the book now, because like all products, there will be a cheaper and better version next year."
8:57AM Now we're being shown a video: "In Washington, some lawmakers have forgotten what makes innovation great." This must be about healthcare, right?
8:55AM Now he's talking about spectrum allocation, a topic near and dear to the CTIA's heart. Looks like they're all on the same page: more spectrum is needed for wireless broadband.
8:54AM It's gotten a little political here: Shapiro's upset at the lack of trade agreements and government overspending. They're official CEA stances -- this is a trade organization, after all.
8:50AM He's talking about the CES' role in innovation, which in turn spurs economic growth. The techno-capitalist's cycle of life, as it were.
8:48AM "Each year I anticipate the CES like a kid awaiting Santa!"
8:47AM Here comes Gary Shapiro, CEO of the CEA.
8:45AM A CES promo video is playing, accompanied by Taio Cruz. Hands are definitely up in the air.
8:45AM Here we go!
8:44AM Lights dimming, music getting loud. This might be a good sign.
8:40AM It's getting real in here: the three giant screens just faded to bright red Verizon logos.
8:39AM This pre-keynote playlist is turning into a who's-who of trip hop classics from the past decade. Not the mood we were expecting, but we'll take it.
8:35AM We were just told the show kicks off "shortly." We've been asked to turn off all wireless devices in about ten minutes to prevent interference with the on-stage demos, but we're going to prevent doing so at all costs, up to and including our own untimely deaths. Wish us luck, folks -- just know that if the liveblog suddenly goes dead, we were probably dragged off into spartan holding cells by CEA security.
8:34AM Now a little Faithless on the sound system.
8:29AM No better way to kick off a keynote session than with some classic Crystal Method, which is precisely what's being blasted over the PA right now.
8:18AM We're in and seated near the stage. Gary Shapiro of the CEA -- the organization that runs CES -- will be joining Seidenberg on stage.