Mobile World Congress, starting today in Barcelona is the biggest wireless show on Earth, with an expected 47,000 attendees and 1,300 exhibits. Hundreds of press releases and lots of media coverage is available at Show Daily.
Today’s news includes;
- Windows Phone 7 Series. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the next generation of Windows Phones, that brings together Xbox LIVE games, Zune music and video experience on a mobile phone. Windows Phone 7 Series is getting rave reviews from Gizmodo and Engadget.
Partners have already started building phones; customers will be able to purchase the first phones in stores by holiday 2010. Every Windows Phone 7 Series phone will come with a dedicated hardware button for Bing, providing one-click access to search. Windows Phone 7 Series includes six hubs built on specific themes reflecting activities that matter most to people; People, Pictures, Games, Music + Video, Marketplace, and Office.
- Nokia’s Maemo has merged with Intel’s Moblin to create MeeGo. The new Linux-based software platform will support multiple hardware architectures across the broadest range of device segments, including pocketable mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, mediaphones, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems. MeeGo will be hosted by the Linux Foundation and governed using the best practices of the open source development model. The first release of MeeGo is expected in the second quarter of 2010 with devices launching later in the year. Nokia and Intel expect MeeGo to be adopted widely by global device manufacturers, network operators, semiconductor companies, software vendors and developers.
- The Symbian 3 OS is the second version of the Symbian platform from the open source Symbian Foundation foundation. Symbian 3 has some of the features of the iPhone with multiple pages and the ability to flick and move around those pages. It extends Symbian 2 with graphics support for advanced layering and effects, full HDMI support for television playback and improved data performance. It will be available in the second half of 2010.
- Twenty-four telecom operators have announced a Wholesale Applications Community to compete with Apple’s App Store and the Android Market. AT&T, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, mobilkom austria group, MTN Group, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Orascom Telecom, Softbank Mobile, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, SingTel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, VimpelCom, Vodafone and others are committed to create an ecosystem for the development and distribution of mobile and internet applications irrespective of device or technology. Together, these operators have access to over three billion customers around the world. The GSMA and three of the world’s largest device manufacturers – LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson – support this initiative.
- Adobe is bringing Flash Player 10.1 to Android, while also including support for WebOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices. AIR delivers rich applications outside the mobile browser and across multiple operating systems via mobile marketplaces and app stores.
- Sweden’s Ericsson, has launched a white label app store as a service to mobile operators. The company claims it is already in discussions with a number of operators regarding them using the new service, known as ‘eStore.’ eStore will launch with 30,000 apps, some of which will be free. “Our eStore makes it possible for the user to access a wide collection of apps from any mobile phone,” said Jan Wareby, head of Ericsson’s multimedia business unit.
- Sony Ericsson said most of its new phones will feature Google’s Android operating system. New handsets like the Xperia X10 mini and X10 mini pro combining the Android platform with signature applications and a customisable UX platform. They features slide out QWERTY keyboards and build on the design philosophy debuted by the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.
- The GSMA will lead the development of specifications to enable international roaming between LTE networks, with a spec expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year. GSMA backs an IMS-based approach to deliver voice over LTE. More than 40 other companies are now on board. The One Voice moniker will be dropped and the work will instead be referred to as the Voice over LTE (VoLTE) initiative. Rival initiatives such as the VoLGA Forum (Voice over LTE via Generic Access) promotes a circuit-switch-over-packet approach (where the circuit-switch voice or SMS traffic is tunneled over LTE). It is supported by Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Samsung and ZTE, but only one operator – T-Mobile – has publicly backed it to date.
- Motorola has unveiled its eighth Android-powered smartphone, Quench, which will be available by the end of next month. QUENCH combines navigational features such as pinch and zoom and a touch pad, as well as the inclusion of Adobe Flash Lite, make browsing the web on its 3.1” screen, easier.
- ST-Ericsson is using the ARM multicore Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and the Mali-400 graphic processor in the ST-Ericsson’s U8500 platform, said to support 120 hours of audio playback or 12 hours of full HD video playback on one battery charge. Having optimized the OS to take advantage of Symmetric Multi Processing — a method for extending battery life by sharing the load between the two processing cores and underclocking when necessary — they are expected to drop these 1.2GHz dual-core chips inside the next generation of smartphones.
- Ericsson set a world record by showcasing LTE/4G with a speed of 1 gigabit per second in the downlink at the Mobile World Congress. Johan Wibergh, head of Networks and Executive Vice President, said: “We envision 50 billion connected devices by 2020. To date, Ericsson has signed commercial LTE contracts with five major global operators; AT&T in the US, Verizon in the US, TeliaSonera in Norway and Sweden, MetroPCS in the US and DoCoMo in Japan.
- Texas Instruments announced its OMAP 4 system-on-chip and the first development platform for it. The company’s focus will be on promoting innovative new modes of interaction, with touchless gesturing using the same ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore class of CPU that powers the iPad, though TI claims it will be the only mobile platform capable of outputting stereoscopic 720p video at 30fps per channel.
- Acer’s new Android 2.1 phone, the Liquid e has supplanted Android 1.6 as the onboard operating system, but the Snapdragon is still underclocked to 768MHz. Features a 3.5-inch WVGA display, 5 megapixel camera (with AutoFocus), inbuilt GPS, 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, 256MB of RAM, an accelerometer, 3.5mm headphone jack and support for 7.2Mbps HSDPA.
- Comsys Mobile will be demonstrating the industry’s first multimode mobile WiMAX/GSM-EDGE Android Smartphone reference design. It runs multiple applications on top of Android and Windows Mobile, driven by their ComMAX CM1125 reference design which integrates WLAN, BT, FM radio and GPS connectivity.
Check out C/Net, Engadget, Gizmodo, Light Reading, LTE Watch, Going LTE, RCR Wireless, ComputerWorld, Mobile Crunch, Phone Scoop, ARM Devices.net, Phone Arena, Network World, Unwired View and Google News for more.