There is no question that compared with last year’s rather subdued and underwhelming MWC, there is a lot more buzz in the air and a distinct feeling that the manufacturers have taken a real step forward in terms of innovation. This year there really are some fantastic devices coming onto the market.
And there is little doubt that Sony Ericsson has stormed back into contention with its impressive Xperia Arc smartphone and the long-awaited Xperia Play – yes, the ‘PlayStation Phone’ has finally arrived. It may be tempting fate a little, but it looks like Sony Ericsson has got it right. The Xperia Play is a great phone that replicates the PlayStation controls faithfully. Above all, the manufacturer has got the gamers on side, and the device comes with 50 games ready and waiting and queues of others trying to get on. It could turn out to be a real winner this year and beyond.
LG made waves with the first 3D phone – the Optimus 3D (no glasses required). It looks fabulous – how many people will want one is anybody’s guess, but it will finally differentiate LG in the market and that can only be good for the company. Oh, and it has the first 3D tablet too (glasses required on this one). The real crack on both is that their double cameras allow users to film in 3D – and you can upload and download videos to YouTube.
Meanwhile, the Palm name has gone, but HP has exploited its excellent webOS and produced some very impressive devices: the dinky Veer, the powerful Pre 3 and the TouchPad tablet. HP may be a big name, but it isn’t associated with mobiles, and it faces a tough task ahead getting its brand recognised by the public.
Motorola has also unveiled some impressive Android-powered devices: the XOOM tablet and the ATRIX smartphone. Again, the manufacturer faces an uphill climb to get its brand back into the consciousness of European customers.
HTC was a real stand out at MWC this year, launching a six-strong range. The manufacturer may not be as attention grabbing as LG or Sony Ericsson, but its Facebook phones certainly have a wide appeal.
Nokia, still the world’s number one manufacturer, was noticeably absent from MWC, but the big news was announced last week – the Microsoft Windows Phone link up, the slow goodbye to Symbian and the abortive launch of MeeGo (yes, there will be one device – for learning purposes – go figure).
So, a much more exiting year than 2010 so far, and with the prospect of some really innovative devices battling for customers’ attention in the months ahead.