Mobile World Congress 2011

A Cell gets out, and it will imitate everything on the face of the Earth! And nothing can stop it! -The Thing

Mobile World Congress, the stellar, cellular show, opens today in Barcelona. The trillion dollar business is charged with excitement. Mobile has come alive.

Business, entertainment and society are transforming before our eyes. It seems like science fiction, but it’s reality.

Cumulatively, the world has about 1.2 Billion personal computers and about 1.6 Billion television sets. But almost 1.4 Billion new handsets were sold just during the 12 months of 2010. Today more than 5 billion people use cell phones. Nearly everyone will be connected soon.

“Smartphones” are expected to be 30% of all phones sold this year. They’re more powerful than home computers just a few years ago. They’re coming alive with applications and broadband networks. Amazon is now the world’s biggest book retailer. Apple, the world’s largest music retailer.

Economic structures seem to be changing in a heartbeat. It’s anybody’s ballgame and nobody has a clue what will happen next. That’s what makes it so damn interesting.

The annual trade show expects 50,000 visitors over the next four days. There’s no better place to watch for trends then Mobile World Congress.

Things to watch:

  • Operating Systems. A bombshell was dropped in London on Friday when Nokia, the world’s largest cellphone company, said they planned to drop Symbian, the most popular phone system in the world for Windows Mobile. What’s the fallout for Meego, Android, Apple and others?
  • New phone concepts. The Sony “PlayStation” phone, HTC’s convertible phone/netbook, tablets, ebooks, connected appliances, electric grids, cars and cameras.
  • Smartphones. Look for a torrent of new devices from Nokia, HTC, Samsung, Sony, LG, ZTE and others.
  • Tablets. Apple’s iPad, a hit with over 15 million units sold last year has triggered so many Android variants, it’s impossible to keep track.
  • Apps. App Planet will be the Centre of the Apps Universe.
  • LTE Everywhere. Everyone assumed LTE would be the system of choice for mobile operators. But the announcements could take everyone’s breath away. And where will they get spectrum?
  • Social Networking. Social networking, with 40 per cent of users checking their status daily, has risen to a whopping 63 per cent in the 18-to-24 age bracket. Social networking is also the fastest-growing consumer app category out of the 19 tracked by research group Gartner. And this year’s MWC will see a clutch of phones specifically designed with social networking in mind, particularly Facebook.
  • Near Field Communication. NFC will be built into a growing number of high-end phones this year, transforming bank card and transaction.
  • Speakers. Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Vittorio Colao, Vodafone CEO, Wang Jianzhou, chairman of China Mobile, etc.
  • Risky Business. Fortunes will be bet. Flags will be planted

This is the year. Barcelona is the place. All hell is about to break loose.

Follow all the action on Google News, C/Net, TechMeme, BlogRunner, Engadget, Gizmodo, PC Magazine, RCR Wireless News, Mobile Burn, Mobilebusinessbriefing, MWC: Show Daily, Light Reading, Fierce Wireless, Phone Scoop, MocoNewsTech Crunch, GigaOm, ARM Devices,Liliputing, The Register, Guardian

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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