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Qualcomm Opening Keynote at CES 2013

Qualcomm’s CEO and CEA’s President, Gary Shapiro, opened the CES 2013 conference yesterday by talking about the consumer electronics industry with a very heavy focus on mobile technologies. The entire theme for the keynote was the idea of being born mobile.

The idea of being Born Mobile was presented by Paul Jacobs during and prior to his CES 2013 keynote. The idea is that many of the new generation of consumers, 20-somethings and younger are essentially born mobile. Since I consider myself as part of this generation, I must say that the keynote was a horrendous representation of the mobile generation. They are protrayed as obnoxiously self-important and ambitiously naive.

After the annoying ‘teens’ got off the stage and Paul Jacobs began to talk, he started to talk about Microsoft and brought the always energetic Steve Ballmer on stage. They obviously talked about the close relationship between the two companies and how they, together, are becoming more mobile. Admittedly, this is being talked about Windows Phone, which has yet to find success and Windows 8 RT, which seems to be in a similar boat.

Moving on from that, Paul Jacobs talked about the history of the company and their past, present and future. He talked about the fact that the company has shipped over 11 billion chips over the course of it’s history and that it continues to be the dominant force in the mobile industry. Paul Jacobs then proceeded to talk about what their new chips were and what they enabled in tablets. There was a statement where they said that their new chips were not only faster than the current competition, but also faster than the future (a clear allusion to Tegra 4’s announcement the day before). He then went on to show some graphical demonstrations and a demonstration of their tablet running their new Snapdragon 800 (yet another naming scheme change) playing back a 4K video. This included a long procracted conversation about the new movie called Pacific Rim that was coming out, followed by a trailer that also happened to feature an in-movie Snapdragon advertisement (yes, we have sharp eyes).

Paul Jacobs also talked about their Tricorder X-Prize and how they were opening the contest on the first day of CES. He then went on to invite Alice Eve on stage, whom he spoke with lightly regarding the future, mobile, the movie, and random things in general. She didn’t seem to really follow long with most of the techie stuff, but was appropriately snarky and entertaining nonetheless.

Moving away from that, Paul came out and showed off a nice Rolls Royce Phantom which had been converted to electric. This car was not converted to electric to prove that Paul Jacobs is an ecologically friendly rich man, but rather that Qualcomm has been working on technologies like wireless charging which enabled Qualcomm to drive the car across country and charge it mostly wirelessly.

This presentation was followed by a short ‘concert’ by Maroon 5, even though only three members of the band were present. Nevertheless, Adam Levine killed it and almost all of the women in the audience went crazy. It was a very weird keynote, if I had to say so myself and definitely not one of Paul Jacobs’ or Qualcomm’s best, it felt very out of character and extremely forced. So much so that it didn’t really come off naturally or genuinely.