BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — During his keynote speech on Tuesday, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said, seemingly with all seriousness, that someday, “there will be Android in every pocket.”
For someone who has been prowling around Mobile World Congress for the past four days, it’s a statement that’s hard to react to without spraying crumbs. Schmidt couldn’t sound any more delusional if he were sealed up in a hermetic chamber with a scale-model of the Spruce Goose. The iPhone dominates Mobile World Congress. Google can’t even get an Android in every pocket at its own tradeshow.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Fujitsu’s made the first Android phone that I, as an iPhone lover, found myself drooling over… which makes it a doubly good thing that the phone in question is waterproof. And not just waterproof! As thin and light and as perfect in the hand as a dream.
The only problems? Because of Fujitsu’s bizarre way of selling their devices, this phone, which has been on sale in Japan for months, doesn’t even have a set name. And forget about getting one Stateside. How does a company make a phone this beautiful and then have no idea how to market it?
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Prowling the showfloor for scoops on the second day of Mobile World Congress, we happened to stop by the Windows Phone 7 booth, where we discovered that just hours before, an original first-generation iPhone beat a top-of-the-line Windows Phone in one of Microsoft’s very own challenges. Oh, delicious hubris!
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — One of the things that first inspired me to be a professional writer was sharing my early fiction experiments as a 10 year old on the discussion boards of the old dial-up service, Prodigy. The instantaneous feedback, the helpful advice, the suggestions from other people about what should happen next to my character (a monster-killing, Nazi-loathing private dick named Dr. Crypt, a name which I still use as my Twitter handle): all of this was a formative experience for me, and without it, I never would have dared to dream that someday, I would make my living putting words down on paper.
Prodigy’s bulletin boards aren’t around anymore, but a new start up is trying to encourage kids and teenagers to write the same way. The company’s called Movellas, and it’s taking the concepts of Twitter, LiveJournal, Kickstarter and the Kindle self-publishing platform to help identify and nurture the next Stephanie Mayer or Stephen King when he or she is still a kid. And, of course, they have an app for that.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Forget a bigger screen or LTE. Ask anybody who has ever dropped their iPhone in a sink, puddle or toilet what they want from the iPhone 5 and waterproofing is number one on the list.
The good news is that there are now a number of companies who are bringing to market superhydrophobic technologies that will help make the soggy iPhone or iPad a thing of the past. Don’t expect a waterproof iPad 3, but an iPhone 5 by the end of the year isn’t just possible, it’s probable.
The year’s biggest phone expo is about to kick off in Barcelona, Spain. The Mobile World Congress always seems to have an unofficial theme. Last year it was non-Apple tablets and bad 3-D. In 2010 it was Windows Phone 7.
This year? This year looks set to be all about the Phablets. And Cult of Mac is going to be there first-hand to laugh at report on them.