All eyes were on LG and Sony Ericsson today (14 February) as they unveiled devices which, if successful, could be key to their 2011 turnaround.
And despite the new devices being nothing of a surprise, neither manufacturer has disappointed. Both are playing to their strengths – LG its screens and Sony Ericsson its parent company Sony’s gaming capabilities.
In fact, some are hailing Sony Ericsson’s long-awaited ‘PlayStation Phone', the Xperia Play, as the phone of the show.
The Xperia Play is the first attempt by a major manufacturer to combine mobile and gaming capabilities in the same product since Nokia launched the failed N-Gage in 2003. If successful, it could remake the Sony Ericsson brand – but it would be an expensive failure.
Overall, gaming has been a key theme at MWC, as LG is also looking to capture this lucrative market with its 3D Optimus tablet and smartphone.
And LG’s 3D handset and tablet might be gimmicky, but it has certainly grabbed the media’s attention.
Both Sony Ericsson and LG were also rivaled by Samsung today, which revealed its second-generation Galaxy S II smartphone and its brand new 10-inch Galaxy Tab at MWC.
And the Nokia and Microsoft story continued to run during day one, with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop admitting Nokia will see layoffs as it will no longer need to develop software on its own. The manufacturer is hoping to bring out a Windows Phone this year, despite criticism.
Emerging manufacturers were also setting Mobile World Congress on fire. ZTE pledged to ship 10 million smartphones as it launched the ZTE Skate and laid out ambitions to aim for the mid to high tier.
Meanwhile, Acer launched both a 4.7-inch smartphone, the Iconia Smart, and its own tablet.
It’s also been an NFC-led show so far, with Orange launching a contacless payments enabled Samsung handset. Google has also announced it will add NFC capability to its Gingerbread version of Android.