Android, LTE set to dominate in Barcelona

The phone manufacturers that use Android will struggle to stand out, says analyst

An abundance of products based on Google's Android OS as well as modems for the next-generation mobile network technology LTE (Long-Term Evolution) will greet visitors at Mobile World Congress, which starts on Monday in Barcelona.

Last year's show lacked big news surrounding Android, but since then the platform has gained a lot of traction and is now ready to dominate this year's event, market research company CCS Insight wrote in a recent research note.

More than 50 products are expected to be on display on the show floor, including smartphones, netbooks and tablets, according to CCS Insight. Alcatel, Dell, HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and ZTE are all expected to launch products, the note said.

The big challenge for the vendors will be to stand out from the competition, and the lack of differentiation will lead to lower prices, according to Geoff Blaber, analyst at CCS Insight said.

Phone vendors aren't the only ones showing more interest in the Google-backed platform. Chip maker Broadcom has added support for Bluetooth 3.0 and for the Wi-Fi Direct specification to its software stacks for Android devices, and will demonstrate both features in Barcelona, it said earlier this week. Also, Fraunhofer IIS is introducing audio codecs for surround sound.

Besides new devices, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is one of the keynote speakers and Google will host an Android Developer Lab, at which developers will, for example, learn about games development. Motorola will host its own event for Android developers.

However, Google and Motorola aren't the only vendors that will court developers. Vodafone, Research In Motion and Sony Ericsson are also taking part in App Planet, which is an new "event within an event" at Mobile World Congress, according the show organizers.

Android will, of course, not be the only smartphone platform at the show. Microsoft is expected to launch Windows Mobile 7, and CEO Steve Ballmer will be in town to explain why his company's OS is still relevant.

Windows Mobile has been losing market share, and Microsoft will need to do something drastic to start attracting consumers, according to Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Samsung is expected to launch the first device based on its Bada platform, which will open up Samsung's proprietary OS to developers.

Symbian's biggest supporter, Nokia, will be in Barcelona, but won't have a stand at the show. However, the Symbian Foundation will be on the show floor to explain how the OS will catch up to the ease of use that Apple's iPhone and Android-based devices offer.

Mobile World Congress isn't just about new smartphones and applications. LTE will also play a prominent role at the show.

"The most exciting thing for me is that we are able to show a number of real devices," said Ulf Ewaldsson, vice president and head of product area Radio at Ericsson.

Ericsson will demonstrate products from five vendors, including Samsung, according to Ewaldsson, who didn't want to name the other vendors. But the number of vendors could have been higher -- some dropped out at the last moment because they weren't ready, he said.

Telefónica and Nokia Siemens Networks will demonstrate LTE using "pre-commercial" terminals, according to a statement.

Separately, Huawei and ZTE have said they plan to show modems for LTE. NEC will show a mobile thin client concept device and NTT DoCoMo plans to demonstrate a prototype cellular handset for LTE.

Huawei is also planning to demonstrate both next-generation LTE -- also known as LTE-advanced -- and HSPA+ (High-Speed Packet Access) at theoretical maximum download speeds of 600M bps (bits per second) and 84M bps.

Mobile World Congress will continue through to Feb. 18.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags lteMobile World CongressAndroid

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?