Tuesday, February 13, 2007

3GSM - day 2

Day two of 3GSM is usually busier than day one. It does not happen in any other conference I know, but it is common here... Today, it was no different. Our booth was inundated by people, mostly mobile operators and partners. What a difference a year makes: a year ago, people were stopping at our booth, looking at us with a strange face and saying "what do you mean with mobile open source?". This year, they come and already know about us. Strange feeling.

I also found out you can use our cell phone holder also to juggle (works well to attract visitors and you can build on the funambol story), as a soccer ball and even to play catch. Multipurpose cell phone holder...

I had a moment to walk around, talking to Trolltech and Access (both doing mobile open source stuff). They had two nice parties inside the conference. Lots of people and not just for the good wine. Mobile open source is going mainstream. No surprise.

Lastly, I was intrigued by a new device by Neonode, a Swedish company. Extremely small and light, iPhone-sque on the input side (no keyboard, you use your fingers) but based on Windows Mobile. Fully featured, with even too many apps on it. But also open (or so they claim) to accept applications for third parties (Neonode Friends). If it takes off, it could be a cool device
for our community to build applications on. Porting our Windows Mobile client on it would be a breeze. Once again, it is just another sign of divergence and segmentation. There will be more, I am sure.

The interesting part, though, was the marketing tactic they used to launch the device. The campaign was built around the actual birth of the device ("a new breed is born"). That included a lot of girls dressed up as nurses... In a male-only environment (3GSM is the only place on the planet where the restroom line is longer on the male side) it is old but working tactics. The traffic on their booth was unbelievable. Lots of cameras and dark suits... It is a sad lesson for marketeers, which repeats itself year after year.

Tomorrow is my last day at 3GSM. I can handle three days but then my body starts complaining. It has been fun so far, let's see what Wednesday has to offer. I haven't seen a shocking announcement since the beginning, but the mood is definitely upbeat. Maybe tomorrow is the day of the iPhone killer...