#AceTechNews – Sept.17: For many years, there was a running gag at each January’s CES that Apple had “won the show,” despite the fact that it doesn’t even show up at CES in any official capacity at all. The original iPhone was announced smack in the middle of CES in San Francisco, not Las Vegas, prompting planes full of weary tech journalists to abruptly leave the Nevada desert only to return the following day. And even when Apple doesn’t explicitly interfere with the show, there have always been the inevitable rumors and comparisons: Can this new Samsung phone compete with the iPhone? What is Apple going to do with television? Is there any tablet that matters other than the iPad?
It’s perceived as a standards-bearer, a unilateral force that is silently dictating the temperature and direction of the market from afar. Auto shows are starting to fall under a similar spell: Apple and Google have become indelible parts of the conversation, even though neither company has announced a commercial transportation product and may not for several years. (Apple hasn’t even officially acknowledged that it’s working on cars at all.) Nowhere has that phenomenon felt more real than this week’s IAA — the globally important Frankfurt auto show — where the world’s biggest automotive brands spent most of their airtime talking about electrification, autonomy, and the connected car. Those topics are in line with the current state of technology in the industry, but the influence of the automotive non-traditionalists in the Valley was palpable with almost everything executives in Frankfurt said.