Six conclusions from MWC 2011

Six conclusions from MWC 2011Mobile World Congress, the biggest mobile circus in the world, is by no means over, but most of the big ringmasters have already had their say.

As the dust starts to settle on what we've seen so far, here are the major conclusions that have struck us from prowling the show halls in Barcelona...

HTC is no longer Android's greatest love

During a stellar 2009 and 2010, Android and HTC were the mobile world's favourite couple. But Android's rise to heavyweight status now looks to be playing more into the hands of Korea than Taiwan, with both LG and Samsung having shown off better devices at MWC than HTC. Then there's Sony Ericsson, which is from neither Korea nor Taiwan, but is going great guns with Android in its own right.

Nobody's missing Apple

It started at CES, and has continued here. Android Honeycomb has wowed all comers with its polish and class, both the kind of compliments reserved almost exclusively for iOS in the past. And on the hardware front, Apple fans can no longer claim that either the iPhone 4 or the iPad is the best device in its class. That may simply be proof that things in the mobile world are moving at a faster pace than ever, but the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 now need to be really, really good to compete.

WP7 is no 'third ecosystem'

Microsoft and Nokia can talk all they like, but we're not at Mobile World Congress for talk. Both HP and BlackBerry will have serious objections to hearing The Two Steves so vigorously talking up a mobile partnership between two companies with respectively little and zero momentum right now, and nothing at all to show off here in Barcelona. And with respect, even if they do come out as a clear third in the popularity stakes, it will very much be as a distant best of the rest, rather than one of a Big Three.

Smartphones are where the action's at again

CES was all about tablets, but Mobile World Congress is still resisting the stampede for now. Where we saw upwards of 100 tablets in Vegas, we're pleased to see phones are back on the menu in a big way here at MWC. Aside from Motorola – who announced their big hitters back at CES – and Nokia and Microsoft – for reasons mentioned above – pretty much everyone's been in on the act, with the tablets we've seen a pretty spectacular side-dish rather than an overwhelming main course. Which is how we like it.

Keynotes aren't what they used to be

Is any mobile phone actually announced and launched the old-fashioned way at big conferences any more? With LG, Sony Ericsson and Samsung doing the business before MWC even started, and nearly every serious device we've seen on show having been leaked beforehand anyway, Big Announcements of consumer devices have been in short supply here during the show itself.

Facebook is going all in on mobile

Heed Mark Zuckerberg's words: he said there'd be no official Facebook phone, and there hasn't been. Today he said there'd by “many more” devices like the HTC Salsa and ChaCha, and we can believe that too. Co-operating with phone makers such as HTC and INQ Mobile on integrating Facebook more tightly into devices makes obvious sense, and will only strengthen the social network's already winning hand in the mobile arena. Facebook won't produce its own mobile because it doesn't need to: everyone else is falling over backwards to do it for them.

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JanSt / MOD  Feb. 15, 2011 at 16:57

If I hear Ecosystem one more time in reference to mobile phones, I'll eat my N900! After years of sabotaging Nokia's dealings in the US of Apple, Elop is a kind of techno Karzai ;) - it's regime change in Finland, and the shareholders and workers who are protesting the move are right.

georgiajonesx  Feb. 18, 2011 at 11:22

errr Apple isn't missed? I think you'll find they are, otherwise its a google/android expo - a competition to see who can make the cheapest ugliest phone using android, even with skip loads of androids, it was iPhone 4 that won the best mobile device - LOL... dream on (f)androids!


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