Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mobile World Congress 2012 –Summary, Conclusions, Trends

MWC12 has
come and gone –with attendance ballooning to approximately 67,000 visitors, the
event is becoming as much a test of stamina and personal fitness as much as
being a showcase of new devices, infrastructure and mobile lobbying (mostly by
the GSMA).

Each yearly
edition comes with its own unique flavor -3 years ago saw the rise in
prominence of content providers (and the App Planet) ,2 years ago the industry
was in crisis-mode and the mood was gloomy at the show. Last year, the Chinese
manufacturers staked their claim on the mobile sector with force. This year,
the ambition and determination of Chinese manufacturers ZTE and especially
Huawei was made even clearer.

Of all the devices,
the Huawei Ascend series with their quad-core processors, clear displays and crisp
Dolby sound impressed, though HTC were not far behind with their line-up (even
though it had less marketing pzazz).

Nokia made
an astonishing comeback at the show, with a very large area in Hall 7 dedicated
to showcasing their new 808 PureView 41MP award-winning Symbian phone and the
new Lumia line-up that was created with a grassroots approach to design and has
plenty of appeal to that key 25-35 socio-demographic with its stylish casing
and colour combinations. It is clear that WindowsPhone has all the cards in
place to become a serious Number 3 OS player, and it is now down to executing
on strategy.

Perhaps disappointing
was the lack of true innovation in devices at the show (I was showcased a
2005-style GPS app by NTTDoCoMo this year , which was a very bizarre experience).
I was amused by the waterproof handsets and tablets by Fujitsu ( a good idea)
and by NFC-enabled advertising billboards by SK Telecom, but overall, the term  “innovative
“ was not the order of the day.

My personal
best marketing award goes to Android/Google for captivating the imagination of congress
delegates with different styled Android figures, a touch wall, an Android robot
capable of making customized device cases and, of course, the Ice Cream
sandwich ice-cream. Mobile is about having fun in a personalized way as much as
it is about communication, and Google gets this, so hats off.