Mobile World Congress

February 27, 2012 by staff 

Mobile World Congress, Every hotel room is taken, every taxi nabbed, and the streets are packed with bloggers and broadcasters staring at their smartphones and working out how they can get from one press conference to another in 10 minutes. Yes, it’s February in Barcelona, and Mobile World Congress has come to town again.

The annual event where the mobile industry lays out its wares and tries to gaze into the future just gets ever noisier, with thousands of companies determined to make a splash. So what will be big in Barcelona? Here are a few thoughts.

Dozens of new handsets are being launched here at lavish press events besieged by excited hordes of industryanlysts and technology journalists – it’s like a sweatier, more male version of London Fashion Week.

But show anyone who isn’t a mobile phone geek the HTC One series, or Sony’s new Xperia phones, or Fujitsu’s first try at bringing Japanese mobile know-how to the European market, and they will struggle to tell these handsets apart.

A new HTC One handset
Smartphones are getting smarter, with quad-core processors and 12 megapixel cameras, but they all fit the same template – big glass touchscreens with no keyboards or buttons, all running Google’s Android operating system.

That means every minor difference has to be emphasised. Sony seemed very excited last night to be launching a phone where part of the screen was see-through. The company which has dropped the Ericsson and gone solo in mobile phones scaled new heights of rhetoric, claiming that its latest handsets were uniquely “peoplecentric”, and that they would “bring out the best in the people who use them”.

New services
But it is through a range of different services – from music, to movies, to mobile money – that all of the various Android clones are hoping to stand out from the crowd.

The 3G networks struggled to cope with numbers

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