Mobile World Congress
Last week I posted about how the media and technology industries are being affected by the changing laptop market. This week, one of the largest mobile electronics conferences in the world was held - Mobile World Congress. MWC has occurred annually since 1987. Run by GSMA, the conference takes place in Barcelona, Spain. This year much of what was introduced were incremental upgrades - bigger screens, better processors, slightly adjusted operating systems. It's almost as if the mobile phone market is becoming the laptop market of the last 20 years. Sure, they'll run a little faster, but it appears that it will be quite a while before we see another market-shattering device like we did in 2007 with the introduction of the iPhone. One of the more notable announcements at the conference was the introduction of the mobile Firefox Operating System. The Verge doesn't seem to like the devices very much, writing "To be blunt, they're not very good: the ZTE Open and Alcatel One Touch Fire look and feel like low-end handsets from two or three years ago." Regardless of what journalists say, the carriers really seem to love the device because Mozilla's letting them in on some of the marketplace profits. Unlike Google and Apple, Mozilla will allow carriers to create their own marketplaces within the operating system, giving them access to some of the pie. The devices do lack power, but that may be alright because they're targeted at low-end users and emerging markets.
Also at MWC, Nokia launched its newest editions to the Windows Phone family. The new devices are colorful and competitive price-wise, running around $100 for the upper-end Lumia 920. The determining factor for Windows Phone sales may not have a ton to do with the Lumia though. It may be how many developers join in on improving the Windows Phone 8 marketplace. So far, developers have been less than ecstatic to get involved.
Regardless of who dominates the market in the future, you can be sure that prices will continue to drop, more consumers will consume through the mobile sphere in more location, and the world will become increasingly connected through those things with screens in our pockets.