Recovering from 3GSM, Preparing for CTIA

Its a great time of the year: hitting the slopes, sipping hot chocolate by the fire, anticipating a beautiful spring, and checking out all the latest in mobile technology.
Last month began a busy season for those of us in the mobile industry …
* 3GSM, Feb 13th, Barcelona – The biggest mobile industry show, attracting something like 70,000 people and taking over the size of a small village
* CeBIT, March 9th, Hannover – European techno-showcase, often lots of mobile stuff shows up here
* CTIA, April 5th, Las Vegas – Largest US-based mobile show, previously held in New Orleans and now in Las Vegas, seems to always end up somewhere *fun*
* Golden Week, April 29th, Japan – The time of the year when the Japanese mobile industry unveils new products
Read on for my take on 3GSM, and what I’m anticipating at the other shows …

3GSM was pretty amazing this year. Moving to Barcelona was definitely a big improvement over Nice. Getting around was easier and there were enough restaurants that you could have a nice dinner somewhere in the city.
The show was very chaotic, and things were spread far apart, so it required a lot of walking. That’s good when you’re someone that spends most of your day behind a computer, and you don’t get a chance for so much exercise.
Hall 8 was filled with handset manufacturers, and there were some interesting things going on over there.
I got a nice tour of the Nokia booth, and saw some of their new devices like the N92. I could see sitting this on my desk and watching TV with it, but it was a little on the heavy side for something I’d want to put in my pocket.
One of the cooler devices at the show was the new Samsung RIM-like phone. It was incredibly thin, and the screen looked so good I thought it was a pasted-on sticker.
The other halls were filled with software, hardware, and service companies primarily. There was just too many to get around to during the week, so I focused on the software I was most excited or interested in learning about. I also stopped by both the Palm tent and the PalmSource booth to visit with friends.
I’m definitely looking forward to going back, and if you’re going next year, feel free to drop me a line and we can head out for some tapas and vino. 🙂
So, I still haven’t booked my flight, but I will be attending CTIA this year, mainly for customer and partner meetings since Adobe will not have a booth.
I’m very excited for this show, even though its a little sad that New Orleans cannot host this year like they did last year.
CTIA promises to show off some stuff we can get locally, versus 3GSM, where most of the stuff is only available in Europe or elsewhere in the world.
I’m expecting many announcements on video and TV for handsets, which is still baffling me. Its a great technology, but I still can’t follow a hockey puck on such a small screen. Maybe the NHL will bring back the “puck vision” tech of several years back where they enveloped the puck on the TV screen with a glow so you could easily see it. Boy, that was a disaster.
The other thing I’m sure will be talked about will be high-speed data in the US. Its a pre-requisite for good video streaming and things like VoIP (whether WiFi or 3G based). Its just starting to get rolled out, but carriers are still looking for killer services to use high-speed pipes. Here’s a little clue for them: focus on user problems, not on cool tech. The best killer apps deliver some value to the user’s daily lives (i.e.-mobile email, LBS maps), entertain them in ways that connect them to others (i.e.-multiplayer gaming), or help socialize with people in an ever increasing techno-centric world (i.e.-social networking).
Well, that’s all for my predictions and hopes. Look forward to seeing all of you at these events.

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