It's been a busy week in mobile phone-land. With just four weeks to go to the annual mobile love-in that is Mobile World Congress, everyone's starting to get a little bit excited, and can't seem to help leaking information left, right and centre.
Of course, one company that typically doesn't bother much with MWC is Apple – it doesn't really need to, after all. And if ever you needed the proof, this week was it. Yes, it wasn't the best of weeks for Steve Jobs personally, though the announcement that he was to take a second sabbatical in two years for health reasons was curiously timed on the morning of a US public holiday, which meant no immediate backlash to Apple's share price.
But he needn't have bothered. The next day Apple announced yet another record-breaking set of financial figures, and the App Store has just racked up its 10 billionth app download. Complete world domination, we hear, should be all wrapped up by the end of the year.
Apple's old sparring partner Microsoft, however – newly re-christened as mobile underdog after the Windows Mobile debacle – seems intent on making a fight of it, though. First Steve Ballmer said Windows Phone 7 phones look the best (now there's a surprise), then analyst firm Ovum predicted WP7 would improve more than any other OS in 2011 (which actually was a surprise).
Back to MWC, and the Barcelona showpiece's looming presence on the horizon has seen a frankly ridiculous flurry of leaks emerging from the mobile woodwork. So far the pick of the bunch have been Samsung's Galaxy S2, the Nokia N9 and Sony Ericsson's Vivaz 2, all of which were talked up in a big way in the last week.