The One CES Apple Might Not Win

In just a few days we begin again with the year's biggest US-based technology conference: CES 2015. Over the past several years, it's been almost a tradition for news outlets to suggest that Apple was either alive and well at CES or in some way or another "winning" the crowd over without actually, physically being at the event series to represent themselves. As far as we know. This year is a little different. This year is the first in which Apple has a new product announced before CES but won't be releasing it until later this year.

This year, the Apple Watch creates a new product situation for Apple at the Consumer Electronics Show. We've seen devices pop up preparing for battle with the Apple Watch and the rest of the smartwatch world left and right over the past several weeks. Products like the Montblanc e-Strap aim to keep the luxury watch alive, for example, by making its watchband smart.

Some jewelers have begun suggesting they'll have the Apple Watch Edition devices bling'd out at launch.

But while like the original iPhone launch, the Apple Watch launch may be massive, Apple's created a rift between announcement and release.

This is the first year since the first iPad that Apple has not released an iPad with a brand new name. Newer versions of the iPad mini and iPad Air have been brought to market, but they're effectively the same size and shape as their predecessors.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus should spawn a few accessories we'll want to check out at smaller shows like CES Unveiled, Showstoppers, and Digital Experience. But because the differences between the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 6 are only really in size and shape (and a bit in processing power), there's not a lot for accessory creators to do that they've not already done.

It's like I said with the column "Wearables mean we've popped the smartphone bubble" – there's not much left for smartphones to do. Not until a brand informs the public how they need something new or a major social event occurs that spawns a need for a new smartphone feature.

Until a time in which a major new smartphone or tablet feature is needed, there will be little to no innovation from generation to generation.

Because of this, and because Apple's new product isn't out yet, Apple will be largely ignored at CES 2015.

Stick around SlashGear to see whether I'm right or not, starting on Sunday the 4th, less than 2 days from the time this article is published. Check our CES 2015 tag portal for more!