CES 2013: Smart TVs May Not Be That Smart… Yet

Apple has no formal presence at CES 2013. In fact, the iDevice maker hasn’t been to CES since 1992. But the Cupertino, California-based tech giant had a magnificent presence at this year’s convention.

Roughly 500 of 3,000 vendors at CES have Apple-related products on display this week.

“Apple owners have a demonstrated willingness to spend for accessories, cases, and other customizations,” says Charles Govin, an industry analyst with Forrester. “Essentially, the potential return on investment is more promising for Apple-related products.”

But the devices touted at this year’s convention have raised more questions about Apple than the tech makers who actually were in attendance. Chief among the Apple-related observations is that the ball is now in Apple’s court with regard to pioneering the so-called “smart TV.” Some analysts at CES simply weren’t all that impressed by what Samsung and others were there to show off.

Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets says the “smart TVs” at CES “really aren’t that smart.” Not surprisingly, White has bigger hopes for Apple’s rumored entry into he market later this year.

One of the displays at the show was the Samsung (SSNLF.PK) Evolution Kit, a hardware upgrade expected to be available in the second quarter of this year. The Korean company also showcased its “S-Recommendation” voice control technology, whose logo, White said, was “nearly identical” to Apple’s Siri.

“We were less than impressed with Samsung’s smart TV user interface and capabilities at the show,” he told investors Thursday morning, according to Wall St. Cheat Sheet.

Although Apple is yet to confirm its plan to enter the connected HDTV arena, a growing number of analysts say that it’s just a matter of time.

Will you wait to see what Apple has planned before purchasing your first smart TV? Pkease weigh in with a thought or comment below.