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:

To conclude this weekly update, here are several other articles I enjoyed from last that I want to share with you:

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.