At the Mobile World Congress last week in Barcelona, three companies dominated the show. The mobile industry is on fire, yet two of those companies weren’t there, though their presence was felt everywhere.
Apple – doesn’t do shows like MWC – but what they have done to the industry is provide a tremendous catalyst for innovation. Apple’s iPhone, introduced only three years ago, has transformed how handhelds look and function. They have given the industry a kick up the backside and smartphone innovation has accelerated. LG’s 3D Optimus phone is an example. No Blues Brothers glasses needed to view stunning 3D videos. Apple’s iPad, introduced just 8 months ago, has legitimized the tablet, and though the Far Eastern manufacturers had plenty of tablets before, suddenly there was a buzz on their stands as punters were eager to get their hands on the latest tablet wares. Tablets stand astride the traditional PC channel and the mobile channel and the two industries have now collided.
Google. Though Android was only released as an open source license mobile operating system just over two years ago, Android smartphones now have the largest share of all smartphone O/S’s. Smartphone and tablet demand is driven by whether or not the latest version of Android is supported on devices. The Android section off Hall 8 was heaving. It was by far, the noisiest, most crowded area of the entire show, and that buzz didn’t let up until the final whistle. Apple should take note.
Facebook wasn’t there, though Google’s YouTube was. Both have transformed the mobile industry. It doesn’t matter whether you are a service provider, a phone manufacturer, a backhaul equipment vendor or a manufacturer of power equipment. You are feeling the effects of consumers capsizing the capacity of networks . YouTube is boosting data traffic and Facebook and IM are driving signalling traffic as well as data traffic.
Whether you are a farmer in Kenya or an executive in the City, few would argue that mobile communications is transforming lives and the mobile industry is being transformed faster than ever.