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Is Anything Left For Mobile World Congress 2011?

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Leaks & Pre-releases Galore



If you've been closely following TrustedReviews news pages over the last few weeks you may wonder just what surprises remain for this year's Mobile World Congress. The annual Barcelona-based show is now in its 24th year and more than ever before companies appear to be jumping the gun in an attempt to beat the stampede of their rivals' announcements. Fret not. As we head out to this year's show there will still be surprises galore, but perhaps of a different kind compared to previous years...

The obvious change is handsets. Yes Mobile World Congress will still be jam packed with the latest and greatest smartphones, but look at what has already been announced: HP killed off the Palm brand with the launch of the Pre 3 Veer and Touchpad on Wednesday, INQ unveiled the Facebook-focused Cloud Touch and Could Q on Thursday and Nokia and Microsoft stunned the world on Friday with the Finns' revealing they would be moving away from Symbian and adopting Windows Phone 7.

Meanwhile Samsung and HTC may not have gotten official with the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab II, Desire HD2, Desire 2 and Wildfire 2 but photos and specs are already doing the rounds rounds *update, S II and Tab II now official*. As for Sony Ericsson, LG and Motorola, the launches of the Xperia Arc, Xoom, Atrix and Optimus 2x at CES in January suggest they may be firing blanks for much of the Barcelona festivities. As for RIM the Torch 2 was unveiled last week and the PlayBook also got its grand debut at CES. Even the revelation the PlayBook will be compatible with Android apps was not held over for MWC. Of course curiosity remains in attaining initial impressions of many of these devices, but the shock value has gone. So where does the interest lie? I'd suggest in the fact that the world's largest mobile phone show is no longer really about mobile phones anymore, but the software and services that will support them.

Certainly phones remain MWC's gadget 'celebs', especially with Gartner reporting 100.9m smartphone shipments in Q4 surged past total PC shipments (92.1m) for the first time. Despite this what excites us is how these so-called superphones will be implemented. Google's Nexus S brought NFC to a flagship handset for the first time and we'll be talking with Visa about its plans for near field payments and how they could revolutionise the way we pay for, well, just about everything. Will it be the end of notes and pocket change?

And that's just the beginning...

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