Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mobile World Congress (MWC) First Impressions

BARCELONA-From the capital of all things mobile (at least for one week), here are my first impressions of Day 1 of the MWC.

Firstly, attendance may have dipped slightly compared to previous years, but nothing like what some observers were expecting. What seems to be the case though, is that fewer company staff are actually on the exhibition stands and more hostesses are left to explain the products on display (sometimes to good effect, see NTT DoCoMo stand and sometimes not so good, see Telefonica stand).

Secondly, emphasis has slipped away slightly from content to once again focus on technology..the insistent talk on convergence in terms of devices seems to have stimulated incumbents in the mobile space out of their lethargy and start dishing out new features or devices at a faster rate.

I was particularly impressed by the new LG Arena 3D interface (a la Linux) though its mere 8GB of inbuilt memory are disappointing.

More and more handsets being showcased come with QWERTY keyboards (no surprise) and in my view, within 2 years the majority of new devices being shipped will all come with this keyboard and/or the hasidic iPhone style one.

More later...