Despite the conspicuous absence of the App store leader Apple at Mobile World Congress, mobile content is top of the agenda at this year’s industry jamboree in Barcelona and most industry announcements give something away about the content strategies of the companies involved.
1. Flurry of smartphone launches
Smartphone launches from Samsung, Sony Ericsson, ZTE, Motorola and Acer could dramatically increase competition in the smartphone space. Samsung’s Wave will be available in May and includes access to Samsung’s App store that it now available in several European countries and will be rolled out worldwide this year.
Sony Ericsson, for its part, released the X10 Mini and X10 Pro, descendants of the Xperia X10 Android. Sony Ericsson will also launch a Symbian smartphone this year, the Vivaz Pro. ZTE, meanwhile, announced that it would launch as many as ten smartphones this year, Acer a further six, and Motorola 20, two of which will be launched in the first quarter.
2. The rise of the open source OS
MWC 2010 has seen a proliferation of mobile handsets using Google’s Android platform with announcements from Alcatel, Dell, HTC, LG Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, ZTE, all demonstrating new Android‐powered handsets.
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Google’s Android platform has always been as much about as enabling search and services across different devices as capturing OS market share. The proprietary operating systems of old could have hampered this objective.
Google’s launch of the open source Android system prompted the Symbian family to follow suit and is now being followed by Nokia and Intel, which announced the launch of its Linux‐based platform MeeGo this week.
This will mean that Google developers will have free rein to develop services that can be rolled out across the lion’s share of the world’s smartphones.
Perhaps not surprisingly, given its continued dominance in the PC market, Microsoft, with its launch of Windows Phone 7, is bucking the open source trend.