Cellphone Chatter At MobileWorld

Posted on February 18, 2009. Filed under: Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

At the MobileWorld confab in Barcelona this week, more than 55,000 visitors have gathered for three days to check out the newest in mobile gadgets and see what–if anything–might detract from consumer obsession with Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

True to form, among the bigger newsmakers were those that incorporated the theme of green. Samsung caught a lot of buzz with its new solar-powered mobile, dubbed “Blue Earth,” which is made from recycled water bottles and is charged via mini solar panels on the back of the handset. The company didn’t actually let anyone touch or sample the phone, as it was evidently housed behind glass, but the blogosphere is surmising that it will have a touch screen and that it will be available to consumers in mid-2009.Mobile World

Not to be outdone, LG also debuted a solar-powered mobile handset that will boast green packaging. Samsung also introduced the Memoir, a touch-screen mobile phone with an eight-megapixel camera that was demonstrated by model turned photographer Helena Christensen.

Nokia seemed to be taking a page from Apple’s playbook by unveiling its own app store, the Ovi Store, which will share 70 percent of its revenue with developers and will go live this spring. The company says, “The first device to include the mobile storefront on board will be the Nokia N97, set to launch in June. Meanwhile tens of millions of existing S60 and Series 40 devices will be able to take advantage of the store from May.” One extra feature that interested conference-goers is the idea of location-targeted features and a “social discovery” feature that allows users to download content from peers in their social networks.

And of course, there was Microsoft exec Steve Ballmer’s discussion of the company’s new mobile strategy, confirmingprevious hints that it would also be launching a mobile app store of its own and announcing the rollout of its updated mobile operating system, Windows Mobile 6.5. PCMag’s Sascha Setter says it’s too little, too late, and that its operating system updates should be far more frequent and incremental (Microsoft won’t be implementing the new system until the second half of 2009).

But Ballmer said the company’s partnerships with HTC, LG, and Orange would keep the operating system fresh. “The most important thing we’ll do is we’re going to work with the guys who build phones that are exciting…that are hot and tell the story of their Windows phone….The thing that people buzz about is the actual thing they go and buy, which is the phone, which comes from one of our partners.”

Source: blogs.wsj.com

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