A Tale Of Two (trade shows in two) Cities

The next two weeks are a bit of contrast for the roving OnPR team – this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, next week at CeBIT in Hanover.

It’s springtime here in Barcelona, with a record number of delegates getting to enjoy some Catalan rays as the sun peeps from behind the clouds. The mobile industry is booming, MWC is bigger than ever, but there’s no real defining “wow” factor about the show’s announcements this year – no mega-merger, no potentially game-changing play like Nokia’s move to the Microsoft Windows Mobile platform.

It’s all about consolidation and technology for the next-generation networks, I’m told by visiting press and analysts. Nothing that rises above the general news – and be assured, there’s an enormous amount of that – just as expected. I talked to a TV producer from a UK-based news channel yesterday who said he had north of 2000 unread MWC-related media ‘opportunities’ in his mailbox: he’s not alone.

Anyone who is anyone in mobile – except Apple – is here in Barcelona. Android devices are way more prominent – not just because Apple’s boycotting the show, but also since Android is clearly stretching into the lead as the primary mobile platform.

Google’s Android booth is refreshingly different and focusing on the growing eco-system of app developers, and there’s a clear push to make sure that the fun factor isn’t overlooked –tempting visitors with smoothies, soft toys, a whole selection of Android lapel pins (visit different vendors, collect them all!) and a mysterious window in a dark corner where I guess they’ve giving away free stuff, from the length of the queue and the determination of the people who are lining up.

This makes me wonder if there will be anything as innovative next week at the newly-revitalized CeBIT – and to wonder whether there’s something big cooking that will be the buzz in the halls next week. After two very intensive weeks of news announcements, I expect the week of March 12th to be pretty quiet …

Simon Jones, Managing Director, OnPR GmbH

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