Mobile World Congress 2010: Preview

13 Feb

Here I am waiting at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, enroute to Barcelona for yet another edition of Mobile World Congress (MWC), For those who haven’t heard about the event (I’m surprised you are reading this), MWC is the world’s largest telecom show where every brand in the industry unveils their offerings for the rest of the year. It is THE event, where trends are set and old benchmarks are bettered. So what can we expect from this year’s MWC?

Nokia: There have been some murmurings that Nokia might not introduce any ‘flagship’ device at its February 15 press event. We believe that Nokia would focus more on services — Nokia Money, Life Tools, Ovi — and probably even introduce some basic phones aimed at emerging markets. This fits well with the ‘Connecting People’ theme that Nokia has chosen for its two-day parallel event. But stranger things have happened in the past — the N86 did not figure in last year’s announcement, but a press release for it ‘somehow’ found its way in the press kit — and we wouldn’t be surprised if Nokia does announce a high-end phone or two.

Samsung: This is one handset vendor that will be making headlines at the show. Samsung will, for the first time, showcase devices running on its Bada platform that it had announced late last year.

Microsoft: With Steve Ballmer confirmed to present at Microsoft’s press conference on Monday, it is logical to assume that it will be a significant announcement. And knowing Microsoft, that would translate into WinMo 7.0 and probably some music and cloud-based services.

Sony Ericsson: The troubled handset vendor is organising a press conference tomorrow. I’m really keen to see what they have in store, considering that their first Android phone — the XPERIA X10 — is not available in most markets, yet. Earlier leaks have indicated a Symbian-based smartphone as well as a mini-version of the X10.

HTC: That’s a no-brainer. We have already seen a few leaked WinMo and Android smartphones and usually HTC roadmap leaks have proved to be pretty accurate in the past.

INQ Mobile: The winner of last year’s best handset award will be showcasing its first Android-based social networking phone.

There’s so much more that I want to write but here comes the announcement for my flight. We will be Tweeting live from most press conferences so don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @cellpassion.

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