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Top five developments from Mobile World Congress

By Michelle Hammond
Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Mobile technology providers have unveiled their latest and greatest gadgets at the 2011 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.


The MWC is an annual global trade show attended by thousands of senior industry leaders and companies wanting to showcase their mobile technology.


StartupSmart consulted the experts to gain an insight into this year’s standout products and trends.


Samsung smart devices


According to Ovum principal analyst Tony Cripps, Samsung’s new-found interest in targeting devices at the enterprise market deserves a closer look.


“The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1’s high specification and larger size should see it tapping into different market segments to both the original Galaxy Tab and Apple’s iPad,” Cripps says.


In addition to the Galaxy S II smart phone and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet Cripps says Samsung has been mindful of the growing opportunity of smart “lite OS” devices in the business market.


“The company’s newly announced portfolio of business apps and services to accompany its latest devices looks well thought out,” Cripps says.


“We’re pleased to see Samsung prioritizing its business offerings around integration with key apps and the need to manage smart devices in the context of existing business systems – the lack of such features still has the power to dissuade CIOs and IT managers from rolling out such technologies.”


Smart phone security


According to Telsyte analyst Alvin Lee the increasing popularity of smart phones means IT departments are finding it more difficult to manage and support various mobile OS and models, particularly with regard to security management.


“Vendors are aware of the situation. For example Samsung has announced (a) partnership with Sybase … who will be providing security and device management solutions for Samsung Android devices,” Lee says.


Sony Ericsson Xperia neo smart phone


After its debut at the MWC, Telstra announced it will bring this new smart phone to Australia later this year and it will operate solely on Telstra’s Next G network for the first three months.


Warwick Bray, Telstra executive director of mobility products, said there is growing demand for Android smart phones and the introduction of the Experia neo will respond to that demand.


“The Sony Ericsson Xperia neo combines the latest Android 2.3 operating system, a powerful 1GHz processor and impressive multimedia features you’d expect from Sony products,” he says.


“For instance it incorporates picture technology previously reserved for Sony BRAVIA TVs to deliver bright, sharp images on its 3.7-inch screen.”


The Experia neo can support more than 100,000 applications through the Android market and relies on Google services such as Gmail, Google Search, YouTube and Maps.


BlackBerry PlayBook


According to Lee, the BlackBerry PlayBook is set to target the enterprise tablet market, announcing LTE-ready and 3G models at MWC.


“Businesses might want to wait and see with the RIM devices as they have a strong heritage and might address their needs better than Apple and Android models,” he says.


Nokia and Microsoft partnership


According to Cripps, this is a bold decision by Nokia but “absolutely the right one, both for itself and for Microsoft given the drastically changed landscape for smart phones in the past couple of years.”


Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach says Nokia runs the risk of becoming a vehicle for Microsoft if it fails to differentiate from other Windows Phone 7 makers such as HTC, Samsung and LG.


Lee says while WP7 may be more appealing to consumers right now the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft will eventually tap into the enterprise space by demonstrating their core value in business and office applications, and managed services.

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