After a few weeks traveling I am back in KL after the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. I was planning to link any comprehensive report from the blog-sphere with the highlights from last week, but strangely enough I did not find any. So I will summarize my high level impressions from the show:
- The news with most press coverage was incredibly the handset that a pickpocket stole from a Telstra exec, with the yet-to-be-released Windows Mobile version 6.5, and loaded with “secret product information”. Is Microsoft using new viral marketing techniques? or was really the show lacking any more striking news?
- Where are the Android handsets? After more than one year of Android birth many were expecting 2009 MWC to unveil stunning new handsets. But Android devices were missing. HTC only showed its T-Mobile’s G1. Are HTC, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson and others preserving their weapons for the Xmas season?
- Still some interesting devices, like LG’s Watch Phone also shown at CES, or the INQ Social Mobile Phone, a web-centric budget phone that got the best mobile phone award. This is a $50 mobile phone optimized to enjoy Facebook, Skype and IM from a mobile, in Om Malik’s words, “chasing what is going to be the biggest trend in the mobile industry: application-specific mobile phones”. Also grabbed my attention the Texas Instruments’ pico-projectors embedded in mobile phones.
- There were also major annoucements of large Network contracts with less attention from the general public. The most significant was Verizon’s annoucenment for LTE deployments as early as 2009! Verizon also disclosed their selected vendors, with Alcatel-Lucent as the biggest winner, followed by Ericsson.
In general, less visitors than previous editions, more sun, a few Lara Crofts in Hall 8, and occasional pickpockets making it into the headlines.