The Apple economy dominates CES 2013, but Samsung isn’t far behind

Apple hasn’t made an appearance at CES since 1992, but its products are everywhere. At CES 2013, iPhones and iPads adorn the sides of booths for everything from Bluetooth speaker manufacturers to car audio companies. Booth after booth is named iFrogz, iSkins, and iLounge. Row after row of companies like Otterbox and Speck have made fortunes building cases for Apple products. Just Mobile’s booth is something like an aluminum shrine to Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple’s lead industrial designer. At CES an economy of Apple has developed — funding booths as big and as extravagant as CES mainstays. But as the convention floor gets more and more crowded with phone and tablet accessory companies, it’s even harder to stand out. iGuy, an iPad case with arms and legs no longer makes headlines the way it once did. While there’s still plenty of Apple zealotry to be had, casemakers are moving — slowly, surely — in the direction of the Samsung Galaxy S III.