Redefining the mobile world
The 2012 Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain, revealed an impressive array of products, sending across the clear message that the already tight competition among mobile phone makers is becoming tougher.
The global fair was attended by a record 67,000 people from the telecommunication sector with events ranging from new mobile device showcases, talks from industry leaders and technology presentations.
Nokia unveiled a 41megapixel smartphone ( 808 Pureview) and cheaper Windows phone ( Lumia 610) to reach out to a wider range of consumers, while the Chinese manufacturers ZTE, Huawei and HTC rolled out Android- based quad- core smartphones and tablets in an attempt to break into the Western market ( Era, Ascend D, Mediapad 10 FHD, HTC One X).
Stephen Elop, President and CEO, Nokia, said that despite the apparent phonemaking battle, the actual “war” is within the operating system ( OS) stream. “The industry has shifted from a battle of individual devices to a war of ecosystems. No longer was it good enough to compete with Samsung or HTC on a device- to- device basis. It didn’t really matter. The real forces have become the ecosystems, including Apple and Android.”
Android, which dominated the 2012 Mobile World Congress, was the top smartphone operating system, while Apple remained the top smartphone seller in 2011.
According to Michael O’hara, chief marketing officer at GSM Association ( GSMA), organizer of the Mobile World Congress, “Today, the connected devices market is dominated by mobile phones, but this will change in the future as a new wave of smartphones, tablets, consumer electronics and M2M devices connect everything from cars to health services and even entire cities.”
GSMA research estimates that by 2015, global mobile industry revenues will grow to US $ 1.9 trillion from $ 1.5 trillion this year and employment by companies in the mobile ecosystem will grow to 10 million by the same year, from eight million at present.
The total number of devices will reach 24 billion by 2020 and the global business impact of the mobile industry is set to top $ 4.5 trillion by that year.
There was an exciting lineup of speakers at the more than 40 conference sessions, representing mobile operators, consumer brands, organizations, and industries. Keynote speakers included:
Franco Bernabè, Chairman and CEO, Telecom Italia Group; Ben Verwaayen, CEO, Alcatel- Lucent; Warren East, CEO, ARM; Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO, AT& T Mobility; Brian Dunn, CEO, Best Buy; Sunil Mittal, Chairman and MD, Bhartiairtel; Xi Guohua, Vice Chairman, China Mobile; Dan Callahan, COO and CTO, Citigroup; René Obermann, CEO, Deutsche Telekom; John Donahoe, President and CEO, ebay; Hans Vestberg, President and CEO, Ericsson; William Clay Ford, Jr., Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company; Dennis Crowley, CEO, Foursquare; Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google; Peter Chou, CEO, HTC; Michael Roth, Chairman & CEO, Interpublic Group; Michael Abbott, CEO, ISIS; Kevin Johnson, CEO, Juniper Networks; Stephen Elop, President and CEO, Nokia; Ryuji Yamada, President and CEO, NTT DOCOMO; Dan Hesse, CEO, Sprint Nextel; Santiago Fernandez Valbuena, Chairman and CEO, Telefonica Latin America; Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO, Telenor Group; Jo Lunder, CEO, Vimpelcom; John Partridge, President, Visa; Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive, Vodafone and Shi Lirong, President, ZTE
Additional learning opportunities included the Forum Series, a sponsored programme which brings together industry players to discuss and debate various topics in focused sessions. The Forums this year included the Augmented Reality Forum, LTE Forum, Mobile Cloud Forum and Mobile Security Forum, as well as the GTI LTE TDD/FDD International Summit.
The GSMA hosted the GSMA Seminar programme, educating participants on industry initiatives such as Mobile Spam, Mobile Privacy, Spectrum and Disaster
Nearly 1,500 companies showcased their organizations through exhibition stands and hospitality space across eight halls at Firamontjuïc. Displays presented exciting new phones, tablets, technologies, applications, back-end solutions, accessories and more.
Hosting more than 12,500 app developers in 2012, App Planet was once again the Centre of the Apps Universe. This year it was packed with an exciting appfocused exhibition, an App Lounge for networking and App Developer Conferences hosted byblackberry, developerprogram.com, IBM, IMGA Nokia, Samsung and WIP.
New for the 2012 event was mpowered Brands, which focus on building marketers’ knowledge and accelerating their use of mobiles as a marketing medium. The mpowered Brands programme provided an indispensible opportunity for professionals across the mobile marketing ecosystem to gain important and timely insights, practical knowledge and innovative solutions from companies at the forefront of mobile marketing today, such as Mccann Worldgroup and Nielsen.
Mobile World Congress 2012 also hosted the 17th annual Global Mobile Awards, which recognized outstanding offerings in a number of categories, covering topics from apps and entertainment to devices and innovation.