MWC: Focus on Android and apps


Around 47,000 delegates will be Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2010 in Barcelona next week, the same number as visited in 2009, and an increase on the 2008 figure of 44,000. But booth space is up four per cent on last year, with 1,300 exhibitors.

The GSM Association (GSMA), the organising body, is running an App Planet in Hall 7 for the first time, and expects to draw up to 5,000 developers to the area to discuss opportunities with RIM, Google, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Vodafone and developer community group WIPJam.

RIM director of developer relations Mike Kirkup said: “An event of this kind offers a good opportunity to explain our application development and we will invest time and money this year to focus on the App Planet event for developers.

“The industry has started to evolve into a sector which offers a mobile ecosystem where services are important rather than being manufacturer-led. We met with the GSMA and agreed a developer orientated experience would be important.”

The GSMA said the App Planet will feature going forward.

Meanwhile, Google’s Android platform dominates handset releases from tier one vendors. At writing, details of devices were being leaked to the blogging community ahead of the event itself. Samsung and Sony Ericsson will both make press announcements on Sunday (February 14), ahead of the fair proper.

Samsung is expected to confirm its first bada-enabled smartphone. Sony Ericsson is to add at least one more Android device to its range. LG will showcase its second Android handset, the GT540 (pictured), along with the Intel-based GW990 smartphone, the GD880 slimline ‘Mini’ and certain Cookie-family devices.

Depending on which blogging source you refer to, Nokia is expected to either announce nothing whatsoever at the event, or else launch its new ‘Cseries’ range, bringing Symbian S60 into a lower-tier portfolio.

HTC will show at least part of its Android roadmap, leaked in December, including its ‘Legend’ and ‘Bravo’ phones.

Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, ZTE and other PC makers and tier-two vendors will also confirm Android handsets this week.