This week the Mobile World Congress (MWC) starts in Barcelona which brings together the entire mobile ecosystem including handset manufacturers, carriers, and software/application developers. It’s widely attended from around the globe and always creates lots of excitement. Last week’s big mobile stories were focused around MWC and analysts making their predictions of the hottest products and trends.
So… what were they saying? The first thing is Android, Android, and more Android. Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, will be giving the keynote speech which will no doubt create more buzz (no pun intended) around their private-label Nexus phone line and a ever-growing portfolio of 3rd party Android-based phones, as well as big opportunities for software/app developers that want to reach Android-users. Part of me hopes Google throws the industry another curve-ball to keep everyone on their toes.
In the past, most rumors leading up to MWC focus on new handsets, but this year the blogs already seem to have an inventory of what’s going to be announced, so it’s really not that exciting. Believe it or not, the big stories this year are focused on mobile operating systems, mainly Microsoft Windows Phone 7, MeeGo, and Samsung’s Bada. I know what you’re thinking, more OSes? Yup, it’s true. These companies just don’t want to give up on “owning” the platform, although I don’t think a mobile OS really equals owning the platform these days. If I wanted to “own” the platform, I would build a common user interface (UI) plus middleware that can sit on top of any OS and then build an ecosystem around that UI. That’s all most users really care about. We still need more consolidation in the mobile OS arena (although good work Nokia & Intel by joining forces and taking a step in the right direction with MeeGo).
As I mentioned earlier, the blogs have been previewing most new handsets expected to announce at MWC. Here’s a long list of handset news I saw last week:
- Acer launches beTouch E110 Android powered smartphone
- Acer outs beTouch E400 Android 2.1 powered touchscreen smartphone
- HTC Legend made more or less official, but not by HTC
- Marvell reveals new Pantheon platform for $99 smart phones
- Sony Ericsson announces Vivaz pro at Mobile World Congress
- Good job there, Samsung – truly innovative
- Sony Ericsson Debuts New Phones
- Samsung Unleashes First Wave in Ocean Platform
- ST-Ericsson paves the way to smartphones for all
- Motorola announces CLIQ XT (QUENCH) Android touchscreen smartphone with MOTOBLUR
- Nokia N8-00: first Symbian^3 handset with 12 megapixel camera, 720p video, and HDMI leaked in summer roadmap?
- HTC Hero shows off multitouch-enabled Sense UI on video
- HTC Incredible leaks, is as red as Mr. Incredible’s suit
- The HTC Scorpion may pack 1.5Ghz processor, Android v2.2, and WiMax – if it exists
- Pharos announces the 565, world’s “first” rugged Windows Mobile 6.5 PDA
- PUMA to announce a sports-centric, solar powered cell phone next week
- New T-Mobile myTouch 3G for 2010 available with 3.5mm jack and Swype
- LG outs GS500 Cookie Plus touchscreen phone
- Garmin-Asus announces Android-powered nuvifone A50
To conclude this weekly update, here are several other articles I enjoyed from last that I want to share with you:
- How many oranges does it take to charge an Apple? (video)
- BlackBerry stops bullet, at last proves itself useful beyond BBM
- Review of RIM’s Twitter for BlackBerry smartphones
- Nexus One still plagued with 3G issues after OTA software patch
- Motorola says will split in 2 in early 2011
- James Cameron to Keynote CTIA Wireless Show
- Skyfire acquires kolbysoft, plans Skyfire for Android
- BOLT Mobile Browser Gets Enhanced Capabilities for Its First Birthday
- Android update after next likely to be codenamed “Gingerbread”
- Opera readies mini browser for iPhone
- Adobe reveals AIR for Mobile, Flash Player 10.1 for mobile
This week will be exciting, so definitely check our blog next week for a summary of MWC news. See or hear anything else interesting in mobile. Let us know by leaving a comment below.