News
3/1/2012
04:12 PM
Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Facebook
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail

10 Sights To See: Mobile World Congress

Explore the sights from Mobile World Conference 2012, Barcelona, where the Google booth slide is always open and the food and fashion never disappoint.




One of the things I love about the Mobile World Congress show, which just wrapped up in Barcelona, is that it brings together so many of my favorite things. Every continent and nearly every culture is represented. I enjoy listening to all of the accents intermix, watching people naturally and organically figure out how to communicate, and observing cultural norms.

Mobile World Congress also brings together every aspect of the mobile ecosystem, from the component and chip companies to the device manufacturers to the after-market third parties to the mobile operators to the applications and content companies to the infrastructure companies, and probably a few in between. And I met with a bit of the whole spectrum.

While Mobile World Congress serves as a great marketing vehicle for every mobile company in the world, it's also a place where deals get made.

Barcelona was jam-packed during Mobile World Congress. The taxi lines were impossible and the Metro was incredibly crowded. In fact, the city was threatened with a transit strike leading up to the event; luckily it was averted. But we did witness a student protest in the square in front of the Fira (the Mobile World Congress venue) late Wednesday, causing traffic havoc as police, donning riot gear, closed the square.

We sent a big contingent of writers and videographers and photographers, across InformationWeek, BYTE, Light Reading, and EE Times (all part of our parent company UBM). And during our Mobile World Congress journey, we saw it all. There were many new phones announced, most of them Android based, but a few Windows Phone 7 devices and even one big Symbian phone (the 808 PureView from Nokia). The big deal this year: Quad-core phones, almost all using Nvidia's Tegra3 chip set. These came from LG, HTC, ZTE, Fujitsu, and Tianyu (a Chinese company that shipped a quad-core phone under its K-Touch brand). Huawei also announced a quad-core phone, but using its own chips. (For more on the smartphones, see 9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress.)

[ Check out our complete Mobile World Congress 2012 coverage, from the mobile industry's hottest event. ]

But sometimes it's what happens behind the scenes that sticks in your mind as you depart Barcelona. The sights inside and outside the Fira were, as always, something to behold, from the protesters to the typical Google booth extravaganza (complete with smoothie bar), and some interesting performance art (including dancers, as you see in the montage photo above).

Next year, Mobile World Congress moves to a new venue in Barcelona--the Gran Via. Some of our team stayed nearby. From the outside it looks like any other convention center. While I'm sure the infrastructure of the Gran Via is better for the team that manages the conference--and this show has certainly grown large enough to challenge the Fira's capabilities--it just won't seem the same. The Fira is a magnificent, sprawling campus of buildings, with beautiful cobblestone walkways, fountains, a palace, and an arena across the street. I fear things won't be quite the same, and I'll miss it greatly. I hope Gran Via can give rise to some of the same memorable moments we had this year.


Google creates a monster, two-story booth at the back of one of the main Mobile World Congress halls, stuffs it with partners, demos, tablets, and phones, paints it lime green, adds a bunch of Android paraphernalia, and mainlines sugar into all of the attendees. Here we've got a smoothie bar with colorful smooth-istas (we recommend the apple/ginger/celery smoothie), ice cream sandwiches (devices running it were hard to find, but the food version was plentiful), and someone wearing Google Goggles.

RECOMMENDED READING:

9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress

MWC 2012: Smartphone Apps, Gadgets For Cars

Android's Success: By The Numbers

What iPad 3 Really Needs: Revised OS

AT&T, Verizon Android Tablets Have Big Negatives

MWC 2012: Waterproof Your Smartphones, Tablets

10 Android App Hidden Gems

9 Powerful Business Uses For Tablet Computers


Another feature of Google's big booth is the slide. For some reason grown adults feel the need to relive their childhoods, or burn off some of the sugar. Google takes your picture coming down and gives you a copy (but keeps your personal data … just kidding). Oh, and there were a ton of new Android phones announced at Mobile World Congress, too.

RECOMMENDED READING:

9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress

MWC 2012: Smartphone Apps, Gadgets For Cars

Android's Success: By The Numbers

What iPad 3 Really Needs: Revised OS

AT&T, Verizon Android Tablets Have Big Negatives

MWC 2012: Waterproof Your Smartphones, Tablets

10 Android App Hidden Gems

9 Powerful Business Uses For Tablet Computers




It's unclear whether Batgirl was just how this woman wanted to dress for Mobile World Congress, or she was part of some vendor's theme. NVidia, for example, has a future version of its SOC (system on a chip) it has dubbed Wayne, after Bruce Wayne … all of its chips have super hero themes (Grey, Stark, etc.)

RECOMMENDED READING:

9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress

MWC 2012: Smartphone Apps, Gadgets For Cars

Android's Success: By The Numbers

What iPad 3 Really Needs: Revised OS

AT&T, Verizon Android Tablets Have Big Negatives

MWC 2012: Waterproof Your Smartphones, Tablets

10 Android App Hidden Gems

9 Powerful Business Uses For Tablet Computers


Some people were collecting Android pins, but this woman decided to collect (and wear) teddy bears. Or maybe she just brought them from home. Or maybe they cling to her.

RECOMMENDED READING:

9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress

MWC 2012: Smartphone Apps, Gadgets For Cars

Android's Success: By The Numbers

What iPad 3 Really Needs: Revised OS

AT&T, Verizon Android Tablets Have Big Negatives

MWC 2012: Waterproof Your Smartphones, Tablets

10 Android App Hidden Gems

9 Powerful Business Uses For Tablet Computers


Nobody really knows what CBOSS does. (I can't really even tell from the CBOSS web site.) What attendees do know is that each year CBOSS hires a group of dancers who dress in all sorts of outfits in order to dance for the crowd. All day. Every day.

RECOMMENDED READING:

9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress

MWC 2012: Smartphone Apps, Gadgets For Cars

Android's Success: By The Numbers

What iPad 3 Really Needs: Revised OS

AT&T, Verizon Android Tablets Have Big Negatives

MWC 2012: Waterproof Your Smartphones, Tablets

10 Android App Hidden Gems

9 Powerful Business Uses For Tablet Computers


It's quite fashionable to wear Lederhosen in Barcelona. As is yodeling. I'm not quite sure why, but this woman was in charge of the Emporia exhibit--this company makes mobile phones for the elderly (big buttons, a call for help function on the back, extra loud speakers, high-contrast display with a specially design font ... and a reminder to catch the early bird dinner special at Denny's).

RECOMMENDED READING:

9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress

MWC 2012: Smartphone Apps, Gadgets For Cars

Android's Success: By The Numbers

What iPad 3 Really Needs: Revised OS

AT&T, Verizon Android Tablets Have Big Negatives

MWC 2012: Waterproof Your Smartphones, Tablets

10 Android App Hidden Gems

9 Powerful Business Uses For Tablet Computers


Protests seemed to be the theme of the week, from the transit strike that threatened to immobilize the city for Mobile World Congress, to these protesters seen daily outside of the Fira. On Wednesday, student protesters shut down the square outside of the convention center. Capitalists, the government, Telefonica, and Movistar started the list of targets.

RECOMMENDED READING:

9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress

MWC 2012: Smartphone Apps, Gadgets For Cars

Android's Success: By The Numbers

What iPad 3 Really Needs: Revised OS

AT&T, Verizon Android Tablets Have Big Negatives

MWC 2012: Waterproof Your Smartphones, Tablets

10 Android App Hidden Gems

9 Powerful Business Uses For Tablet Computers


All work and no play makes Motorola a dull boy. Let's hope these exercisers could occasionally jump over to the Android booth, right around the corner, for an ice cream sandwich. The company was promoting its MOTOACTV Training system.

RECOMMENDED READING:

9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress

MWC 2012: Smartphone Apps, Gadgets For Cars

Android's Success: By The Numbers

What iPad 3 Really Needs: Revised OS

AT&T, Verizon Android Tablets Have Big Negatives

MWC 2012: Waterproof Your Smartphones, Tablets

10 Android App Hidden Gems

9 Powerful Business Uses For Tablet Computers


Joyn is a consortium of mobile operators, hellbent on stopping over the top (OTT) video from supplanting their enormous video revenue streams. So they had some painters out painting…on the last day, they still weren't done, which I suppose is, in some ways, symbolic.

RECOMMENDED READING:

9 Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress

MWC 2012: Smartphone Apps, Gadgets For Cars

Android's Success: By The Numbers

What iPad 3 Really Needs: Revised OS

AT&T, Verizon Android Tablets Have Big Negatives

MWC 2012: Waterproof Your Smartphones, Tablets

10 Android App Hidden Gems

9 Powerful Business Uses For Tablet Computers

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Email This  | 
Print  | 
RSS
More Insights
Copyright © 2020 UBM Electronics, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service