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World’s largest electronics show set to kick off in Las Vegas

by Kelly MacNeil on January 3, 2011

What is typically billed as the largest electronics show in the world is set to kick off later this week when technophiles from across the globe flock to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show. The event has been the launching pad for some of the most widely used pieces of technology including DVDs, Xbox and HDTV, CNN reports.

Although the show has suffered in recent years due to the lagging economy, it should be more widely populated this time around. More than 2,500 companies are expected to make an appearance at the show. Additionally, their showcases will cover around 1.6 million square feet of space at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Still, there are some people who criticize the show for being almost too big.

"You can't even physically see the entire show in the four days of the show," head of the Consumer Electronics Association Gary Shapiro, told the news source. "It's literally miles of exhibit space. There's over 20,000 products that will be introduced there. It's kind of overwhelming."

Despite the large number of participants, Apple is conspicuously absent. Their reluctance to appear is interesting given the fact they are among the world's technology leaders and continuously ply the public with innovative gadgets. However, Apple's presence will be felt, as there are 80 iPad-like tablets expected to be on display.

The reason for Apple's reticence to appear may be because they typically roll out products independently, and the method has proven successful. Apple's main competitor in the smartphone realm, Google, will also not be in attendance.

Organizers are estimating that the show will attract around 120,000 visitors throughout its four days, according to The Wall Street Journal. The event officially kicks off on Wednesday night with a speech from Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer.

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