mobile technology


What's on at GSMWorld

Two days in Barcelona at GSMWorld, to devine what’s in the pipeline for the mobile environment over the next couple of years. Knowing what mobile devices manufacturers are going to be pressing into consumers’ hands means we can start working out how to get radio onto them, and what kind of experience it should be. It’s also early warning of new competition for listeners’ mobile time, and new directions for mobile content.

The good news, strangely, is that GSMWorld was pretty dull. No whizzy new phones, no outstanding new functionality, no category killers. It looks very much like the manufacturers have stop trying to capture market share off each other with incredible innovations, and are trying to make a decent margin by selling sensibly featured phones at presumably sensible prices (but who knows, because it’s the networks that buy the phones). So really, nothing sensational to report.

Nokia rolled out their N96, which is an N95 8GByte with some go-faster stripes. ARM, Qualcomm and a few other fabless silicon shops were “demonstrating” the Google Android platform. Samsung sheepishly rolled a statement saying they would demo an Android phone “soon”. I can see that major manufacturers don’t want to antagonise network operators at this stage over the issue of advertising funded mobile devices. Nokia Siemens (the networks and infrastructure business of Nokia) were demonstrating the concept of targetted advertising injected into the mobile network, and there was some talk of a collation of networks looking at advertising funded mobile web browsing.

Mobile TV was considerably reduced over the heydays of 2006. Most of the majors had their 2007 handsets on display, reserving a bit of space for DVB-H, T-DMB, S-DMB, ISDB-T or somesuchother format. But no big displays for TV, and interestingly it was music and media capable devices that were being given the prestige slots. Maybe Live TV on the go isn’t what consumers want – maybe something common sense might have told you. Oh well.

Nothing staggering in content either, other than to note that the ringtones/ringtunes/wallpapers business seems to be subsiding a bit. Adobe demonstrated Mobile Flash Lite, which offers some excellent opportunities to develop fun things for mobiles, including customising the User Interface. Opera Mobile is developing nicely too, and maybe it will slowly edge towards a defacto standard?

There was one interesting item – the nanoDAB. but I’m going to blog that as a separate item.

(PS. Isn’t it so nice of GSMWorld to consider our spiritual wellbeing, by making sure that the Prayer Room was located conveniently close to the Adult Content Zone. Well done chaps).

(PPS. “When clever travel plans go wrong”. I think I was the only delegate who took 17 hours to get back from Barcelona. What started as a “clever idea” quickly turned into a re-routing nightmare involving four hours sleep in a Holiday Inn Express, and delays at GVA, FRA and 35 minutes circling LHR waiting for fog to clear. I made it back to the office with minutes to spare).

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