It's that time of year again. For the first six weeks of the year, the entire mobile industry is focused almost entirely on just three little letters: MWC.
And it's no wonder – Mobile World Congress is by far the biggest single event on the mobile calendar, a chance for the big and small of the phone world to share the spotlight together on the busy Barcelona show floor.
And while it's tempting to say it every year, MWC 2011 genuinely promises to be the biggest show yet. Not only are we seeing the smartphone market taking a quantum leap forward thanks to the emergence of dual-core processors and stunning display tech, but we also have the booming tablet market to take into account too. We can hardly wait.
The four-day extravaganza kicks off on Valentine's Day, February 14, and you can trust we'll be right at the heart of things. That's right – Mobot will be at MWC, reporting directly from the show floor, and giving you the inside track on all the MWC news that matters.
So with just over a fortnight to go before Mobile World Congress kicks off, let's take a look at some quick facts about the event:
- The first GSM World Congress was held in Rome in 1990, with 650 exhibitors showing off their wares. It then moved to Cannes for a decade, before taking up its current home in Barcelona.
- Around 50,000 people are expected to pass through the doors over the four days, and 2011's show should see around 1,300 exhibitors.
- Aside from the hardware itself, the App Planet offshoot – first held last year – promises to be a real attraction too for developers and exhibitors alike.
- All the leading names in the mobile industry will be in attendance with the exception of Apple, which typically avoids such events. Last year Nokia sat out MWC and held a parallel event of its own nearby, but in 2011 has been ushered back into the fold.
We'll be taking a closer look at what each of the major players has lined up for MWC in a series of in-depth previews over the next two weeks, so make sure to keep Mobot on your mobile radar!