CES Day 1 News: RIM, Intel and Motorola Make a Splash

The Consumer Electronics Show officially kicked off on Tuesday, and it is expected to be one of those years that earth-shattering new devices and technologies will not be introduced. But it didn’t stop the near-record attendees to gawk at the booths, grab freebies and hear big names from the technology world speak.

According to the Consumers Electronics Assn., there will be almost 150,000 attendees filling Vegas hotel rooms for the conference. A record number of companies—3100—will be exhibiting.

Don’t Miss: RIM Reveals PlayBook 2.0 at CES.

So on the first day at the conference what were the big stories? There were a few news items.

Research in Motion’s Tablet Update

While not usually a conference attendee, desperate times call for desperate measures. Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) unveiled its much-needed and long-awaited software update for its Playbook tablet.

The company planned to run demos of the new software at the show, which is expected to be released in February. The company has added email to the tablet and the ability to combine multiple social media feeds into the contact list. The Playbook OS will the QNX software base found in the BlackBerry 10’s operating system. This is currently in development and is expected to be unveiled before year’s end.

Intel introduces smartphone

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has been talking about the introduction of a smartphone for a long time and now it finally may happen. At the company’s keynote speech, it introduced the inaugural Intel-powered smartphone: the Lenovo K800 with Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) 4.0.

The phone has a 4.5-inch 720p display and a rear camera with dual-LED flash. Word is the company will send it to China Unicom in the second quarter, but that’s about it for details.

Motorola to Release Fewer Phones

Sanjay Jha, chief executive officer of Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) (NASDAQ:GOOG), told a group of reporters on Tuesday that the company plans to begin reducing the number of mobile phones it attempts to launch each year. This comes as the company wants to focus its efforts on development and marketing dollars on more innovative devices, according to MarketWatch.

Motorola recently announced lower-than-expected device sales for the fourth quarter. According to Jha, negatively affecting performance was the new Razr 3 smartphone’s high $299 price. He added that looking ahead, “you should expect fewer models from us, with more powerful designs” and  that “overchoice has not helped the market.” Jha emphasized that the improved design of the phones will be an improved sell to consumers.

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