Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mobile World Congress - day 2

Day 2 of the Mobile World Congress is always the busiest one, in the exhibition floor. Also, the one with the best parties. This year, same pattern (did I come too many times to 3GSM?). Tons of people stopped at our booth (most likely due to the models that are helping in the booth, although our sales team claims it is because our salespeople are handsome) and I tried four parties, most with excellent food and big crowds (the Access party wins for the food, hands down. Japanese people know their way around a good meal).

Ooh, I also worked hard (...) and picked some more signals:
  1. BlackBerry had another major outage. At Funambol, we open a bottle of champagne for each one of those. Who said RIM had a reliable service? We just launched the first version of our new BlackBerry email client. Download the Funambol open source server and go for it, no outage in sight. RIM has a single point of failure. And it happens to support only BlackBerries...
  2. Android, Android, Android. LG to rollout one device in early 2009, so is T-Mobile. I want to launch an Android phone as well, I am jealous.
  3. I spent some time to think about Microsoft and Yahoo and Danger. Did you realize that once they all close (they will) Microsoft will have a monopoly of instant messaging? In the US, we also have a bit of AOL IM, but elsewhere it is all Microsoft and Yahoo. A monopoly of IM is going to be huge in mobile. As far as I know (I might be wrong), Danger is the only company in the world that had an unlimited license from both Microsoft IM and Yahoo IM. Once they merge, they can start raising the price for everyone else and kill the market. It is all about mobile...
  4. I went around the device manufacturer stands: LG has the most impressive line-up, they will get a ton of market share. Samsung is not bad, but not as good as LG. Nokia is ok, they are the dominant player and added a few new phones, they are not going to slip. Sony Ericsson did not have anything interesting in their main line-up (last year it was great), but the Experia is a very impressive smartphone, despite the operating system (Windows Mobile). Motorola is so depressing I wanted to cry (actually, the people there were so depressed they wanted to cry).
  5. 3GSM has never been a show with operators having booths. Operators have always been the buyers, going around the show and meeting people. Not this year. There is Vodafone huge stand, one from Telenor, Orange, NTT Docomo and probably more that I did not see. The operators feel they must remain relevant, in a world changing in front of their eyes. If you do not want to be a dumb pipe, you must be visible and push your services. It is a very strong signal of changing times in mobile...
Tomorrow is my last day at the show. However, I will stay in Barcelona for two more days for our management meeting (it makes sense, we are almost all here anyway ;-)