Tablets take spotlight at MWC
Tablets dominated the device announcements on the opening day of the Mobile World Congress, with seven products announced compared to four smartphones.
The statistics are good news for Google, with its Android platform powering five of the seven tablets and all of the smartphones, however the figures represent a shift for the firm, with soaring success to date fuelled mostly by the latter device.
South Korean vendor Samsung got the ball rolling announcing the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will ship in Europe via Vodafone this spring, however domestic rival LG Electronics quickly squared up with details of its 8.9-inch Optimus Pad which will feature a 3D screen.
ZTE unveiled a 10-inch version of its Light tablet due in 3Q, and the Light 2, which it states is the first tablet fitted with a Pixel Oi display that can be read in direct sunlight.
Motorola Mobility fanned the Google flames by revealing it will launch its Xoom tablet in Europe in 2Q, with a host of combinations of Wi-Fi and 3G technologies.
Vendor’s focus on tablets seems well placed with 17.1 million units sold in 2010, and Cisco predictions that tablet sales will soar 205 times by 2015.
RIM, though, reminded us all that the mobile software market is already a three-horse race, announcing plans to double its range of PlayBook tablets to four with HSPA and LTE variants, all running its Tablet OS.
The pendulum swung back to Google in the smartphone sector, with Sony Ericsson launching its Xperia Play and Pro, and LG revealing its much-hyped Optimus 3D, one of the first smartphones to incorporate a glasses-free 3D screen.
Motorola Mobility unveiled the PRO, a business focused smartphone with full keyboard at the bottom, and QuickOffice software embedded.
It wasn’t all fancy Android smartphones and tablets though.
Start up vendor Mi Fone launched a range of sub-$100 (€74) devices with qwerty keyboards running next generation messaging technology from Synchronica, and Orange snapped up Samsung’s Wave 578 to fuel NFC services in the UK, France, Spain and Poland.