Normally stage-shy mobile processor maker Qualcomm blooms in confidence at CES 2013, where a "Born Mobile" sign towers over all other billboards-- it takes over the main keynote speech, previously the reserve of Microsoft.
The keynote was a show highlight since it left everyone speechless... for all the best/wrong reasons. Opened by a surreal, near parodic sketch involving 3 "teens" (read soon out of work actors) yammering about "Born Mobile" lifestyles, the keynote proceeded with a speech from Qualcomm CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs (we need to get ready for "Generation M" he says) before boisterous Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer literally ran on to stage.
Further appearances follow-- film director Guillermo Del Toro (who showed off the latest Snapdragon processor with a hilariously gory moment from his Blade II), actress Alice Eve, Big Bird, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and an electric Rolls Royce.
The madness was closed off with an acoustic set from Maroon 5... only due to (presumably) broadcast right reasons said set was overdubbed with a Dido track for livestream viewers.
Truly, it was our favourite CES keynote EVER.
Aside from memorable keynotes, Qualcomm also unveiled its latest chipsets-- the Snapdragon 800 and 600, with enough processing power to nearly rival PC chips and graphics processing able to handle 4K/UltraHD content. Such capabilities were shown off in a theatre at the Qualcomm stand, with the Snapdragon chip powering an 84-inch TV screen and 7.1 Dolby surround sound.
Also getting a boost is wireless communications, with LTE and next-generation wifi (through 2011 acquisition Atheros) on-chip.
As proof of a strong mobile market, Qualcomm appears to be in rude health. May it also continue to entertain us with more insane keynotes in the future.