While AnandTech is predominantly a website catering to the US crowd, not everything that gets released ends up in the rest of the world – China and North America are normally locations 1 and 2 on the list of ‘where do we ship our product to’.  I come from the UK, which is somewhere in the middle between a US release and a never release.  For example we do not get Rosewill here, and no matter how much I look at the Vizio Thin + Light as a possible laptop upgrade, I will have to import one (with 20% import tax) or buy it when I am next over there. 

The EU market, compared to most, deals with a lot of different problems than selling in the US, and while the Eurozone as a concept should make it easier, the UK is one of the non-Euro currency countries, which makes it harder.  On top of this, we also have our own home grown talent – companies and entrepreneurs that want to invest, market, or find distribution channels.  In some eyes, CeBIT is becoming more of a distribution network than any actual new hardware release announcements, but it is this type of local event that occurs all around the world.

On Tuesday I went to an event hosted by one of the UK’s over the air television shows, The Gadget Show.  For our non-UK audience, the Gadget Show is not an enthusiast based technology broadcast – it deals with lots of different technology, showcasing some of the big names as well as home grown devices, and their application to the real world.  The Gadget Show Live is an extension of this, for companies and entrepreneurs to showcase their wares to first the professional crowd (investors, resellers and media), and then the general public over a multi-day event.  The location for this is the NEC in Birmingham, a well known location for this sort of trade (+public) show.

Most of what the big names in the tech industry are selling here are not new – they have been announced globally and nothing from them is that surprising, except how long it has taken for a product to get to the UK.  Much like some films, it might be sold in the US or Asia up to 6 months before here and often the UK firms have EU offices that distribute the EU allocation based on markets.  It is all very complex stuff, even in our modern age of internet sales.

But the local business or entrepreneurs trying to get investors, put their name onto the scene, show off their wares and perhaps have something interesting up their sleeve is what I went to see.  While there was *a lot* of junk at the event itself (like automatic cat litter trays or energy drink promotions), a few items piqued my interest from both a technology and a reality point of view.

IglooVision: Gaming in all Directions


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  • MarkSear - Thursday, April 04, 2013 - link

    I'm from the UK - moved to Toronto in Canada a year a go almost to the day. I love the Gadget Show and still watch it through 5 OnDemand (UK TV Channel) over a VPN connection.

    Seriously though - please correct the facts about the UK?

    Movies are available to buy on Blu-ray / download / rent on demand 3 months after release. Often movies are released in theatres before the US and Canada.

    As for product releases being delayed in the UK - erm BlackBerry Z10, Samsung S3 / S4, a whole plethora of motor vehicles, TV shows etc...

    20 % VAT on goods - yes, but you're not a UK resident I presume - so you're exempt.

    As for complex stuff - the EU is a single market - you even have the advantage often of buying good in Euro's - fair's fair now - there's a good chap!
  • Tams80 - Thursday, April 04, 2013 - link

    True, but you can't really complain about the TV shows. The ones your referring to will be British made/commissioned ones and therefore unsurprisingly will be released in the UK first. Although it has got better, we do still have to wait for US TV shows to cross the imaginary Internet ocean (of course the same applies for out TV shows). Don't get me started on anime though!

    We also don't get some technology products at all and they are often more expensive even when you take in to account VAT.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, April 04, 2013 - link

    "yes, but you're not a UK resident I presume - so you're exempt."
    Dr. Ian Cutress is very much a resident of the UK. Unless I've been misled by the podcasts and his reviews all this time. :)
  • IanCutress - Friday, April 05, 2013 - link

    Dear Mark,

    I am very much British and live in London, having lived in the north, south, east and west of this green and pleasant land.

    There has been in the past delays of certain titles and products from NA to the UK/EU - for example a big film like Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (2005) was released 10-Jul-05 in the US and 29-Jul-05 in the UK. This is more common than you may realise, and up to 3-6 months does occur.

    Yes, you can go buy in Euros, on the basis that you have to pay to change GBP to EUR (commission or bad rates), then extra for company X to ship it to you, then import tax (20%) to get it across the border. So unless it is 25%+ cheaper in continental Europe, you are still paying through the nose. They closed the loophole regarding Jersey and Guernsey recently, so even 'importing' from there is now subject to import tax.

    I know my country, I was blooming born and raised here mate! :)

  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, April 05, 2013 - link

    You don't have to pay the import tax if you're buying from another EU-country. Reply
  • smilingcrow - Saturday, April 06, 2013 - link

    Exactly, no import duty or VAT.
    Import tax varies depending on the category so is not a fixed 20%.
  • poohbear - Thursday, April 04, 2013 - link

    lol how in the hell is that igloo house a gadget???? Reply
  • poohbear - Thursday, April 04, 2013 - link

    its like going to a car show and seeing trucks and planes! who comes up with this stuff? Reply
  • evonitzer - Thursday, April 04, 2013 - link

    How many products at CES could be called 'consumer electronics'? It really doesn't matter since the show is about displaying interesting things whether or not they are actually feasible for the general consumer.

    I can't believe people are griping about the igloo! That looks fantastic and I want it for my home.
  • nerd1 - Thursday, April 04, 2013 - link

    Nao humanoid robots are made by a french company :-) Reply

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