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Missing Apple Still Big Part of CES

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Apple is not part of the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. That's a fact.

    But that fact isn't stopping rumors of what Apple may do next from racing along the showroom floor.

    Every year a product or two emerges from the deserts of Las Vegas as the item to consumer electronic product to watch for the upcoming year.

    This year there are two that are expected to be pushed more than others and both can trace their roots back to Apple.

    Several companies will be showcasing a new line of ultra thin laptop personal computers being dubbed "Ultrabooks" that are trying to take a bite out  of Apple's MacBook Air market.

    While others will be showing off their Internet-connected televisions, being called "Smart TVs."

    Both developing industries are being driven by a reaction to what Apple  is doing in the market.

    "The bottom line is, Apple is not at CES, yet they cast a very long shadow," Tim Bajarin, the president of the consulting firm Creative Strategies, told The Houston Chronicle.

    There are expected to be between 30 and 70 ultrabooks that hit the market during the four days of CES, which is taking place this week in Las Vegas.

    There are also expected to be several smart televisions that are introduced, including the latest incarnation of Google TV.