World Mobile Congress 2010

The World Mobile Congress, the biggest gathering of all things wireless and cellular in the world, was held last week in Barcelona.  Trying to cover everything that happened or was announced would probably just give you a headache, but here’s a little summary of some of the biggest and most interesting news.  Well, we think it’s interesting anyway…

As a bit of background, there are now nine different operating systems (OS) for smartphones/mobile devices: Apple iPhone, Google Android (x3), Google Chrome, Windows Mobile 7, RIM Blackberry, Nokia Symbian, Palm WebOS, Samsung’s Baba, and Nokia/Intel’s MeeGo (Bada and MeeGo are both new to the market).

So, against this somewhat chaotic backdrop, it is unsurprising that a strong theme of the congress was a preview of the battle for supremacy in the mobile market, and the significance this will have for other sectors.  Samsung announced their new Bada OS and showcased the Wave phone that will use it, whilst Microsoft announced that devices using the new Windows Mobile 7 will be available from the end of this year – a good year after the software was expected to roll out.

Meanwhile, Google announced a new collaboration with Omnifone, that will see the Omnifone MusicStation being offered on Android powered devices, and Adobe revealed that their Photoshop app for the iPhone had now been downloaded over 6 million times.

The growing power of the Android part of the sector was consistently showcased, with a new army of Android tablets looking to take on the Apple iPad, Adobe positioning its Flash platform as the way for developers to avoid having to rewrite apps for each OS, and O2 and Orange announcing an attack on the iPhone supremacy through a new open platform.

Elsewhere, Sony Ericsson, Huawei, Motorola and Samsung all unveiled new devices, whilst LG offered a tantalisingly vague promise to launch a “new product” aimed at taking on the iPad and the Kindle.

All in all, it just goes to show how fast the landscape is changing in this burgeoning sector, and how fierce the competition will be to claim territory and market share.  At this relatively early stage of the app and smartphone “explosion” it’s impossible to tell which way it will go, but it sure will be interesting finding out.  What will you be using this time next year?  The chances are it will have featured somewhere in Barcelona, but who the biggest winners will be is too close to call.

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