Mobile World Congress 2011 – the gadgets and the trends so far…

The saying “All roads lead to Rome”, could for this week be changed to “All communication roads lead to Barcelona.” The big names in mobility are there; Ericsson, Nokia, Microsoft, RIM, Motorola, Broadcom, Alcatel-Lucent, ZTE Corporation and Huawei and more, but also IT heavy weights such as Google’s Eric Schmidt, Paul Otellini from Intel and Cisco’s John Chanmbers. The line between IT and mobility feels like they are officially gone. More and more users choose mobile devices to access the Internet, so it is not surprising that so many choose to visit this gigantic event.

Most interesting was probably this week’s announcement that Nokia partners up with Microsoft to use Windows Phone for their smartphones. This new strategy leaves a lot of questions, and the Nokia stock declined when the news became official. Nokia also negotiated with Google, but in the end they choose to work with Microsoft. This direction is not surprising since the world’s largest mobile phone supplier would have effectively created a duopoly with Apple iOS, if they had chosen Android over Microsoft. Microsoft has other challenges as well. Their efforts to claim the mobile device has not been as successful as many anticipated. The partnership with Nokia is really their chance. I am sure the two companies will work day and night to produce new phones. When Stephen Elop (former executive at Microsoft) president and chief executive officer of Nokia Corporation held a press conference after the Microsoft announcement he was confident, but made clear that they have a long way to go before this cooperation shows any results.

When Steve Balmer of Microsoft held his key-note he said that they will release two major updates to Windows Phone and make it possible to run Internet Explorer 9 on their phones. By using a hardware accelerant it will be possible to play h.264 encoded clips in the browser and get the same performance as running an application natively on the phone.

Ericsson announced a concept that will allow mobile operators to offer a cloud-pc together with Akamai. Ericsson explained that their vision is that our world is completely connected via wireless networks where everything is tied together using machine-to-machine technology. Hans Vestberg said that Ericsson will be the leading provider to the networked society. Ericsson is strong in mobility and broadband solutions, now they are investing in the third area, the cloud. Their service consists of a thin computer with a special version of Linux. Their servers use virtualization, network and security technology and was demonstrated running Microsoft Excel from a server in India via High Speed Packet Access (HSPA), high-speed 3G data services provided by cellular carriers worldwide that use the GSM technology.

But MWC is also about gadgets.

  • Android is one of the big players where Google in only a few years have created a dominant position. MWC presented far more Android devices than any other.
  • Motorola is back in the game again with new devises.
  • Chinese company ZTE presented a number of 4G pad devices and thus trying to enter into the premium segment.
  • Sony-Ericsson presented new devices before the show started. But for enterprise customers the business mobile Xperia Pro with built in support for device management, Microsoft Office document editing, and native Microsoft Exchange connector, a well-spaced QWERTY keyboard that slides out and Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
  • Samsung presented a new Galaxy S II with larger screen, thinner casing, full HD, 8M pixel camera and voice control. They also demonstrated a new Galaxy Tab 10.1 with a 10.1 inch screen. But their strategic alliance with Adobe, Cisco and Sybase is even more interesting for enterprise customers and will be interesting to see what they will achieve together.
  • HTC presented five new devises, among them HTC Scribe which allows the user to write with a pen directly on the screen.
  • LG presented mobile phones and Pads that could show 3D without special glasses. This is a feature from their TV side.

So, what was missing? Or should I say who was missing? Apple.
As usual they are not participating in the Barcelona event. But the spirit of Apple does hoover the show. The rumors of new versions for Ipad and Iphone, what they will include keep flourishing.

But hey, who doesn’t love a mystery?

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