The last time Apple officially made its presence known at CES, it wasn’t debuting a new iPhone or even a Mac. It was the Newton, all the way back in 1992.
Now the company is returning to Las Vegas in an official capacity, but don’t get too excited: it’s not there to announce a new product to upstage rival hardware on the show floor. Instead, Jane Horvath, Apple’s senior director of global privacy, is set to speak in a privacy-focused roundtable.
Related: Best iPhone
According to the official listing, the hour-long discussion will tackle questions such as “how do companies build privacy at scale?”, “will regulation be a fragmented patchwork?” and “what do consumers want?” Alongside Horvath, Erin Egan will be representing Facebook and Susan Shook will offer Procter & Gamble’s viewpoint.
Of course unofficially, Apple has often been at CES in some capacity. There are regular reports of the company sending representatives for meetings or to scout out the competition, while there’s no shortage of companies showcasing Apple-related accessories either.
Related: Best iPhone 11 cases
CES 2018 was particularly memorable for Apple’s non-presence, with the company taking up a giant advertising space on the Marriott’s SpringHill Suites next to the Las Vegas Convention Centre to brag about its privacy credentials.
But this is different: an official presence announced a month in advance. It’s clearly not the same as having a stall on the show floor with new hardware, but there’s very little incentive for Apple to do that, given the huge amount of media attention it gets at its September iPhone reveals as a matter of course.
All the same, it appears that Apple is a little bit more keen to engage with the industry as a whole, and that feels like a promising development.
Should Apple make a bigger splash at CES? Let us know what you think on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.