Highlights from Barcelona

The Mobile World Congress, the conference in which cellphone manufacturers show their plans for the rest of the year, is as we speak being held in Barcelona.  A lot of mobile phones have been launched and tablets are also getting some coverage.

A few story lines so far: Google has positioned Android in the background. The purpose is to provide their partners like Samsung a chance to market their products without having to worry about Google taking the limelight. It is a strategic move from Google, which can be interpreted as a peace offering to their partners after the Motorola Mobility acquisition. BlackBerry has no official booth at Mobile World Congress which raises interesting questions. Is it due to the Z10 not being available or is it a case of a shift in strategy? Mozilla (the makers of Firefox) has unveiled a mobile operating system but will they provide it to their partners? Is this rather a last ditch entrance into mobile or is this the beginning of a mobile strategy for Firefox? Mozilla also announced new partners LG and Chinese smartphone maker Huawei.

The most unexpected announcement over the last few days is that LG has acquired WebOS from HP. The operating software is to be used in Smart TV’s which is a surprise. LG wants to compete with Samsung in providing another platform for users to connect to the Internet. Is the acquisition of WebOS a sign that LG is hedging their bets against Android after Google acquired Motorola Mobility? WebOS was initially a superior browsing experience for users of Palm phones but the latest versions of Android is easy and functional. Under the agreement, HP said LG will keep WebOS as an open source project for developers.

HP has announced an Android tablet called the Slate7 which is also interesting. Meg Whitman, CEO of HP clearly believes that HP should have a tablet to compete with Samsung, Asus and Sony.

HP Slate 7 Tablet

With all of the above highlights, consumers across the globe are in for a bumper year in terms of choice. Are you considering buying a tablet or a new cellphone?



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