3GSM Diary, day 2: Handsets at dawn

Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung... but will content matter more?
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung... but will content matter more?

It's Monday and Barcelona is preparing to welcome an estimated 60,000 people to the 3GSM World Congress. The first day sees a lot of vendor press conferences, showcasing all the latest and greatest devices.

Nokia and Samsung are getting involved, with Samsung contributing to the 'size zero' debate by shaving yet more millimetres from the girth of its phones with its Ultra set of devices and Nokia's additions to the E series, the N77 and the 6110, prompting one bemused journalist to ask company CEO Olli Pekka Kallasvuo: "Did you run out of numbers? I remember the 6110 a few years ago… ".

LG also managed to turn heads with its Prada phone, which it showed off to the waiting crowds today - crowds which were trailing out the conference room door in an effort to get a glimpse of handset stocking.

One vendor with a slick new device not at the show and noticeable by its absence is Apple. Nokia's OPK raised his handbag at the press conference today and questioned whether the Mac maker can turn mindshare into market share.

Handbags at dawn too for Qualcomm's CEO who couldn't resist mentioning he was pleased to see Nokia miss out on getting the endorsement of mobile trade association the GSMA for the '3G for all' initiative.

LG instead won the association's backing for the super low cost device, aimed at boosting the presence of third-generation networks in developing countries. The mobile in question, the LG KU250, will be available from the second quarter of this year.

But enough of the handsets. If vendors are any barometer, this year, content is king and everyone is fighting to show off how they plan to cram an assortment of music, film and the kitchen sink onto devices.

Even Bollywood and the Sundance Festival are getting in on the act, with both launching made-for-mobile short films.

And if all those announcements weren't enough to give you a headache, the bagpiper tuning up at 9:00AM this morning certainly would have done...

More tomorrow...

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