While my articles about Mobile World Congress 2011 can be found on TrustedReviews, I’ve also been sharing my thoughts on the show as a whole with New Media Knowledge. Here is an exert of NMK’s feature, you can find the full article here.
Mobile World Congress 2011: A review
By Chris Lee
The organisers of last week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) claim it was the biggest ever, with more attendees, exhibitors and top CEOs delivering keynote speeches than previous expos. There were also more than 10,000 apps on show in the App Planet section, but which developments were most significant according to industry experts? NMK tapped up its contact book for answers.
There were also a host of significant announcements, with troubled mobile handset maker Nokia pre-empting the show by announcing a platform tie-in withMicrosoft, a move which apparently upset Google, whose Android platform is gaining huge traction in the mobile space.
According to freelance mobile journalist Gordon Kelly, this announcement stole the show before it had even started.
“The ramifications were felt throughout the show with contrasting opinions over whether it will be a success or not,” he told NMK. “Personally I think it is a massive win for Microsoft and a huge gamble by Nokia, which must be kicking itself for not buying Palm last year.”
Kelly added that Android continues to dominate, but he does not believe that the benefits of many hardware innovations such as near field communication (NFC) and multi-core processors will be felt until MWC 2012.
[Note you can read my thoughts on Multi-core mobile phones in detail here]
In the endless battle between hardware and software, Mobile World Congress 2011 marked hardware’s return to form. The problem is much of this new hardware won’t be fully exploited until this time next year. My latest feature for TrustedReviews explains why… (exert below, full article here).
The Problem With Multi-core Mobiles
So Mobile World Congress (MWC) has brought another wave of skinny, light, powerful mobile devices to Barcelona. ¡Qué sorpresa! Unlike previous years, however, the class of 2011 will ask fundamentally new questions of the software developers charged with creating ever more rich and engaging software applications for them.
You see whereas many predicted tablets to be the dominant theme of MWC 2011 and yes there – have – been – a – lot – they are not what should excite us most. That privilege should be reserved for multi-core. From the moment the LG Optimus 2x became the world’s first dual-core smartphone when it was unveiled at CES a consensus that ‘more cores are better than one’ has engulfed the mobile sector. LG was quickly followed by the Motorola Atrix 4G, but these two stood alone until MWC.
Since then Barcelona has been used by almost everyone to demonstrate their love for dual-core. Samsung rolled out the Tab II andGalaxy S II (above), LG showed off the Optimus Pad and Optimus 3D and Acer has unveiled the A100 and A150 tablets. In fact the only surprise is HTC has yet to officially hop on the dual core bandwagon with its Flyer tablet, Desire S, Incredible S and Wildfire S sticking to single-core processors for now. That said, rumours suggest this situation won’t last long with the leaked HTC Revolver said to sport a 1.2GHz dual-core processor to power a 4.3in display and, allegedly, an Android Honeycomb OS.
Meanwhile chipset makers are looking to stretch performance even further. Most notable is Qualcomm, which has announced its next generation Snapdragon chipsets will be available in quad-core configurations with each core running at up to 2.5GHz. If this sounds like science fiction then Nvidia looks set to take things even further. Today’s announced ‘Project Kal-El’ will also be quad-core, but feature a12-core Nvidia GPU with support for video resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 pixels and have up to 5x the power of Tegra 2. The launch timeframe? 2011.
The interesting aspect to all this though it places huge emphasis and expectation on software developers. Without dedicated coding, dual-core processors offer little to no performance advantage over their single-core variants. As those with long memories of the PC progression to multi-core will remember: to show real world improvements multiple core processors need software that supports multi-threading and there are numerous reasons as to why that might not be coming any time soon…
The Daily, The Huffington Post, is the march towards an entirely digital future for online media inevitable? Enjoy my feature for TrustedReviews. If you enjoy this sample, check out the full feature here.
The Digital Divide & Conquer
In 2003 TrustedReviews was launched. It came about because its founders grew frustrated at the inability of their respective publishing houses to see the potential for online media. How times change…
This week AOL paid $315m (£195m) for blog/aggregator the Huffington Post. As part of the deal Arianna Huffington became president and editor-in-chief of ‘The Huffington Post Media Group, a newly formed division within AOL as well as other AOL captures Engadget, TechCrunch, Moviefone, MapQuest, AutoBlog, Patch and more.
“The acquisition of The Huffington Post will create a next-generation American media company with global reach that combines content, community, and social experiences for consumers,” declared AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong. “Together, our companies will embrace the digital future and become a digital destination that delivers unmatched experiences for both consumers and advertisers.”
The pros and cons of the deal have been tossed around the press, but the bigger picture is the sum paid shows just how desperate publishers are to follow Armstrong’s lead and “embrace the digital future”. It also shows how desperate investors are to cash in.
Last week hyped up iPad-only digital newspaper The Daily launched. It came with a $30m development cost, $500,000 per week operating budget, 100 full time staff and locked itself to a single platform, (for now) a single device and parent News Corp saw shares rise 2.6 per cent. Suddenly newspapers are flavour of the day. Content is king, or more precisely: exploitable content for premium digital redistribution.
In an age of SEO and link bait it is hard to take a headline such as this seriously. Thankfully originator 10 Yetis does not attempt to do so. Instead we have the blog’s answer to a simple question:
”’One of the most commonly asked questions I get asked about Twitter from newbie PR’s/non-twittering clients and alike is “who should I follow on Twitter”?”’
That I come in at #38 is neither here nor there. The fact the likes of Gail Porter, Wil Harris and Nate Lanxon don’t feature while I come ahead of Aleks Krotoski, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, John Snow, Jemima Kiss and the whole of Guardian Tech rather undermines the whole thing. Then again, perhaps any more links and I’ll get accused of link bait myself… and we wouldn’t want that.
The full top 100 list is below. You’ll find the original and an interesting Q&A about it here.
1. Harry Wallop – Telegraph – @hwallop
2. Caitlin Moran – Times – @caitlinmoran
3. Dr Ben Goldacre – Guardian/Blogger – @bengoldacre
4. Emma Barnett – Telegraph – @EmmaBarnett
5. Charles Arthur – Guardian – @CharlesArthur
6. Charlie Thomas – Pensions Management – @pensionscharlie
7. Jeff Prestridge – Mail on Sunday – @jeffprestridge
8. Sophy Ridge – Sky News – @sophyridge
9. Darren Waters – BBC – @darrenwaters
10. Graham Norwood – Freelance Property Writer – @PropertyJourn
11. Adrian Bridgwater – Freelance Journo – @abridgwater
12. Jason Stamper – Editor of CBR – @jasonstamper
13. Hilary Osborne – Guardian – @hilaryosborne
14. Dan Martin – BusinessZone – @Dan_Martin
15. Glyn Moody – Freelance – @glynmoody
16. Jack Schofield – Freelance - @jackschofield
17. Tara Evans – This is Money – @taraevans
18. Tom Wiggins – Stuff – @WiggoWiggo
19. Johann Hari – Indy – @johannhari101
20. Ben Moss – Daily Sport – @Benmosssport
21. Dan Raywood – SC magazine – @DanRaywood
22. Rory Cellan Jones – BBC – @ruskin147
23. Jo Elvin – Glamour Mag – @jo_elvin
24. Sally Whittle – Freelance – @swhittle
25. Rebecca Burn-Callander – Smarta – @sparky000
26. Ian Brigg – The Business Desk – @IanBriggs1
27. Political Scrapbook – Political Scrapbook – @psbook
28. Jason Hesse – Real Business – @jasonhesse
29. David Quantick – Freelance – @quantick
30. Guy Clapperton – Freelance – @guyclapperton
31. Mike Butcher – Techcrunch – @mikebutcher
32. Helen Wright – Real People – @Helenwrites
33. Laura Williamson – Daily Mail – @laura_mail
34. Nicky Campbell – BBC – NickyAACampbell
35. Mike Simons – Computer World UK – @Itjournalist
36. Mark Kobayashi-Hillary – Reuters/Freelance – @markhillary
37. Juliana Farha – Freelance – @JulianaFarha
38. Gordon Kelly – Freelance – @GordonKelly
39. Leonora Oppenheim – Freelance – @Leonora_O
40. Jemima Kiss – Guardian – @jemimakiss
41. Ian Cowie – Telegraph – @iancowie
42. Gavin Glicksman – The Sun – @gavglicksman
43. Simon Binns – Manchester Confidential – @simonbinns
44. Tristan Young – Freelance – @Tristan_Young
45. David Quinn – Freelance – @davidquinn
46. Simon Harper – Clash Mag – @Simon_Harper
47. Peter Hay – PR Week – @peterhay
48. Charlotte McEleny – New Media Age – @charlottemc
49. Josh Halliday – Guardian – @JoshHalliday
50. Allister Hayman – Regeneration & Renewal – @RegenHayman
51. Louise Bolotin – Freelance – @louisebolotin
52. Gordon Burns – BBC – @gordonburnsnwt
53. Ben Poole – GTNews – benjaminbump
54. Giles Coren – Author/Freelance – @gilescoren
55. Tim Marshall – SkyNews – @ITwitius
56. Geoff Ho – Daily Express – @GeoffTheRed
57. Dan Walker – BBC – @danwalkerbbc
58. Paul Waugh – Politics Home – @paulwaugh
59. Bryony Gordon – Telegraph – @bryony_gordon
60. India Knight – Sunday Times – @indiaknight
61. Joe Lynam – BBC – @BBC_Joe_Lynam
62. Lynette Peck Bateman – Freelance – @lovelyislovely1
63. Anthea Gerrie – Freelance – @aceglobetrotter
64. Busola Evans – Star Mag – @busolaevans
65. Norman Lebrecht – Freelance – @Nlebrecht
66. Laura Bacharach – Blogger/Freelance – @TheBeautyEdit
67. Avril Mair – Elle – @avrilmair
68. Bernard Ginns – Yorkshire Post – @BernardGinns
69. Suzi Dixon – Telegraph – @suzidixon77
70. Jonathan Landman – New York Times – @jonathanlandman
71. Laura Whateley – The Times – @Lwhateley
72. Grace Dent – The Guardian – @gracedent
73. Rob Sharp – Indy – robbiesharp
74. Mark Henderson – The Times – @markgfh
75. Tim Weber – BBC – @tim_weber
76. Guardian Tech – Erm, Guess! – @guardiantech
77. Neil Davey – Sift Media – @neilcdavey
78. Ian Sample – Guardian – @iansample
79. Hannah Prevett – Management Today – @hannahprevett
80. Kate Bevan – Guardian – @katebevan
81. John Snow – C4 – @jonsnowc4
82. Daniel Griliopoulos – Freelance – @GriddleOctopus
83. Aleks Krotoski – BBC – @aleksk
84. Andy Lim – Freelance – @andylim
85. Richard alvin – Business Matters – @ralvin
86. Jen Crothers – Heat – @jenofcroths
87. Simon Read – Indy – @simonnread
88. Leigh Holmwood – The Sun – @LeighHolmwood
89. Cathy Bussey – PR Week – @CathyBussey
90. Chris Mellor – The Register – @Chris_Mellor
91. Mark Samuels – Freelance – @mark_samuels
92. Des Kelly – Daily Mail – @DesKellyDM
93. Anne Ashworth – The Times – @AnneAshworth
94. Chris Phin – Tap Mag – @chrisphin
95. Dan Oliver – .Net – @danoliver
96. Charles Christian – Freelance – @ChristianUncut
97. Krishnan Guru-Murthy – C4 – @krishgm
98. Dave Lee – BBC – @davelee
99. Andy Oakes – NMA – @andyoakes
100. Dave Wyllie – Freelance – @journodave
A frightening glimpse of the future or is Foursquare already being used for sex? Either way it certainly isn’t Doing it like they do on the Discovery Channel…
Tablets are going to change the world? Get in line. That role has already been taken by the smartphone. In my latest editorial for TrustedReviews I discuss why and where they go next…
If you enjoy the sample below, please read the Full Article.
Smartphones: The New World Order
On Monday Google Android brushed past Nokia’s Symbian platform to become the world’s biggest smartphone OS. Android grew an astonishing 615 per cent over the last 12 months, but what is equally important is smartphone platforms as a whole leapt 88.6 per cent and now account for nearly one in five handsets sold. We’re facing a Smartphone new world order.
Let’s put this in some perspective. Gartner reports 417 million mobile phones were sold in Q3 2010, a 35 per cent leap from Q3 2009. During the same periods smartphone sales leapt 96 per cent – almost 3x as much, in what is traditionally a quiet spell ahead of the Christmas rush. We await Q4 figures, but don’t be surprised if one in three phones sold globally by the end of 2011 is a smartphone. An astonishing figure considering how dumbphones proliferate developing countries.
The obvious question is why? The simple answer is: because smartphone hardware is becoming increasingly cheap to make. The likes of the iPhone 4, HTC Desire HD and Galaxy S may dominate the tech press like Ferraris and Aston Martins dominate Top Gear, but the reality is budget smartphones are the real game changer. Last week ZTE overtook RIM to become the world’s fourth largest mobile phone maker. The little known Chinese manufacturer saw sales grow 94 per cent year-on-year. Of the top three Nokia grew 4.9 per cent, Samsung grew 23.3 per cent and LG dropped one per cent. By contrast ZTE even topped Apple’s impressive 89.2 per cent growth and it holds a larger share of the market than the Cupertino giant with 2.3 per cent verses 2.1 per cent.
ZTE did this by creating high quality smartphones for the masses. In August the ZTE Racer redefined what £100 pre-pay smartphone should be: 2.8in touchscreen, 3G, WiFi, aGPS, an accelerometer, digital compass and Android 2.1. Our review gave it 10 out of 10 for value. By January ZTE has moved the goalposts again. The ZTE Blade, sold exclusively by Orange in the UK as the San Francisco, kept the internals of the Racer, but slapped on a stunning 3.5in LCD (initially AMOLED before supplies dried out) capacitive display with jaw dropping 800 x 400 pixel resolution. The form factor was sleek, slim (just 11.8mm) and light (110g) and it sold for just £99 on pre-pay. Once again we gave it 10 out of 10 for value. In the week since our review it can now be purchased for £89.99.
Consequently the bigger question becomes not ‘why would I want a smartphone?’ but ‘Why wouldn’t I want a smartphone?’ And this is just the beginning…
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