Mobile World Congress: Google, Microsoft, and Mobile Ecosystems
By Mike Anderson
The Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona is about to begin its third day. Much of the attention for two days has been on the devices. Both smartphones and tablets have been in the limelight of announcements.On the smartphone front, there are a lot of great new features appearing. Super high-resolution cameras – Nokia touts 41 megapixels – garnered attention. Quad-core processors have begun to be offered by multiple vendors. Faster speeds from 4G LTE will become reality with more vendor announcements, and NFC (Near-Field Communications) for mobile payments was offered by more than half a dozen vendors.
Mobile World Congress and Tablets
With tablets, more power and better resolution characterize the offerings from many vendors. At Mobile World Congress this week, vendors unveiled hybrid devices that combine a smartphone, tablet and keyboard in one and a smartphone more the size of a tablet reflect the expansion of form factors we’ve been expecting. What is playing out is the blurring of categories as tablets and smartphones both expand.
Beyond devices, a keynote session by Google’s Andy Rubin provides perspective, and sets up an exciting Day 3. Google is on a roll with Android smartphones. With tablets, even Google acknowledges that Android remains in distant second place. Two years of Android tablet sales (around 12 million units) being less than Apple iPad sales in Q4 of 2011 (about 15 million units) is a call to action. Rubin said Google will double down in tablets, and that the key will be in the ecosystem.
At Aragon Research we couldn’t agree more about the importance of the ecosystem. Our first wave of research last August included “Winning in Mobile: The Five Essential Components of a Mobile Ecosystem”. Our upcoming Strategic Report is an enterprise guide exploring the leading mobile ecosystems. People are slowly beginning to realize it is now about Mobile Ecosystems, but we aren’t seeing much coverage of that at Mobile World Congress
Mobile World Congress Day 3 – Microsoft
Day 3 at the Mobile World Congress will include Microsoft’s introduction of the Consumer Preview of its new Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft is viewed as a mobile ecosystem player, yet its real impact has not been felt as it has an incomplete approach lacking a tablet presence.
That is about to change. As Google’s Rubin stated, consumers recognize that the ecosystem is what wins. Microsoft takes the next step in regaining its ability to contend with a mobile ecosystem during Day 3 of the Mobile World Congress. There is no doubt that this will be the year that Tablets take center stage.