MWC 2010: What to expect

Another year and another Mobile World Congress show is upon us. But what can we expect from the big mobile players and how do they plan to outshine the announcements and unveilings of 2009's event?

4) "(I am very excited) to lead Samsung Mobile to future transformation and growth. I assume this position at very difficult times. The global downturn is a threat to the entire mobile industry I am confident to predict, however, that Samsung Mobile will grow again this year." JK Shin, Samsung's executive vice president and head of mobile communications.

5) "I think it's going to take us anywhere between three to five years. Being the size that we are gives us a fairly sizeable marketing budget. We understand that we need to spend, to create the awareness that Acer is not just a PC company." Aymar de Lencquesaing, head of Acer's smartphone business.

That's what last year delivered. So what does MWC 2010 have in store for individuals and companies alike? On to the predictions

1) This year's MWC is likely to be one of the biggest ever. Previous years have played host to tens of thousands of people. The big draw for 2010 is the addition of a keynote from Google's chief executive Eric Schmidt. Of course, there are also other big names to pull in the crowds.

2) Steve Ballmer is in the building. Microsoft's Windows Phone conference is on Tuesday and rumour has it that the main man himself will be hosting it. For all those heading out to Barcelona, this is quite an honour. IT PRO will at the event so you'll find out first hand if he makes an appearance.

3) Android will continue to be the dish du jour. Fighting for attention with Microsoft's Windows 6.5 and talk of Windows 7 for mobile devices, Google's own mobile platform will be the star of the show.

4) Exhibitors will try and catch delegates' eyes more than ever. While this may be stating the obvious, around 1,500 exhibitors are vying for attention at the Fira, meaning imaginative stands, giveaways, promotions and such like will be the order of the day.

5) It's all about the apps. Apple's App Store has already celebrated its two million-plus download milestone and while the other app stores are trailing behind, the big players such as Android, BlackBerry and Microsoft are very aware just how much power apps now wield when it comes to users' interest and loyalty.

The event will even host a special App Planet strand dedicated to mobile developers to help encourage innovation and awareness around the theme.

"Solely focused on the rapidly growing application developer community, App Planet will bring together the many critical elements of the broad mobile application ecosystem together in one location," O'Hara added.

"Application development is one of the most vibrant, innovative areas within mobile today, and we're thrilled with the early response to App Planet."

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