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Mobile World Congress 2011 Wrap-Up: Android Takeover

February 17, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka



Ciao, Barcelona! The bravas was delicious, the cab rides were life-threatening, and the devices you showed me were (predominantly) amazing. Alas, our time together has come to an end.

Today was the last day of Mobile World Congress 2011 and the majority of exhibitors and press folks are on their way home. In fact, organizers are gently nudging us out of the press room right now. I just completed one final sweep of the conference and wanted to do a quick recap of what were my favorite things about Mobile World Congress. Below is my list of the best things that I spotted at MWC 2011.

Quad cores and more, more, more

Can you believe that it was just a month ago that NVIDIA was unveiling the Tegra 2 dual-core processor? Well, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments have since announced quad-core processors set for release next year, and NVIDIA has already upped the ante with quad-core processors this summer. I got a demo of NVIDIA’s Tegra 3, and had a one-on-one with Texas Instruments that made me think that TI might actually have the better product when it’s all said and done.

I’m still not sure which strategy will prove wisest. TI or Qualcomm may deliver stellar units next year that power some of the best tablets around. However, if you’re getting a new device this year, NVIDIA will be the only quad-core game in town. Be sure to check both players in this processor fight.

Android runs the world

Not only did we get a keynote from Eric Schmidt that Android has incredible numbers, we also got to see Android dominate Hall 8. There were Android statues decorating practically every desk from people showcasing ‘Droid-related products, and there was even an entire section dedicated to Android demo’s, smoothies, and creating your own Android Stickers. Take a look at the MWC Android display.

Companies hope to re-shape their image

I truly believe that most of the companies who have really screwed up their Android reputation – ahem, Samsung and Sony Ericsson – “get it” and are working to avoid repeat those mistakes in the future. Rather than try to bring TouchWiz to a bigger tablet, Samsung was wise enough to see the writing on the wall and deliver a 10.1-inch touchscreen device running stock Honeycomb. Sammy also exhibited a cool Android media player, though it’s time to pull the trigger on that thing. Most impressive of all was the Samsung Galaxy S II, the follow-up to the popular phone that wasn’t updated soon enough. Let’s try to not have a repeat performance.

Meanwhile, Sony Ericsson delivered what looks like a beautiful phone in the Xperia Arc, and managed to turn my once dismissive view of the Xperia Play completely around. Sony promises to deliver updates faster, and I get the feeling that they understand the importance of prompt support for these flagship devices. I look forward to them living up to that promise.

LG goes all-out with 3D

Don’t let the Optimus One fool you; LG means business in the high-end. Not only did the company showcase the glasses-free 3D technology on its Optimus 3D smartphone, it offered up the Optimus Pad Honeycomb tablet capable of recording in the third dimension as well. The only thing left to do now is wonder if this will be the thing that finally makes 3D graduate from idle “hot next year” feature to a bonafied trend.

Apps! Apps! Apps!

You know I’m all about apps and there were plenty of great ones to see at MWC. I’ve already covered most of them at previous events, but here are a few of the best new apps that I noticed while on the show floor.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed our coverage of Mobile World Congress. Catch-up on all the news not mentioned here by visiting the MWC 2011 tag page. Adios, Barcelona!