-->
 
What to expect at Mobile World Congress 2012
 
Posted by
0
2
Posted on: Get daily stories in your mailbox
 
 
MWC starts today, bringing plenty of juicy mobile news including scores of new phones and tablets. Here's what could come out of this year's show.
 
The year's grandest smorgasbord of mobile technology is upon us once more. On Sunday, Mobile World Congress will begin in Barcelona, Spain, bringing with it a non-stop parade of quad-core phones, 4G networks, and new operating systems. MWC will set the stage for mobile tech in 2012, showing you many of the handheld gadgets you'll want for the next several months.
 
PCMag will be at the show covering as many gadgets as we possibly can, transit strike or not. Plenty of MWC speculation has already leaked out onto the Web, though. I'll try to round it up here, but remember, the companies involved can always change their minds at the last minute.
 
Acer
British phone site Pocket-Lint has the word on the Acer CloudMobile, an Android Ice Cream Sandwich-powered phone with a 4.3-inch display and Dolby sound. The phone's name suggests it will come with some sort of cloud service—probably the next generation of Acer's existing AcerCloud online storage.
 
Asus
Asus's Monday press conference will be the debut for the Padfone, a fascinating smartphone-tablet hybrid. Originally shown off at the Computex trade show in 2011, the Padfone is a 4.3-inch smartphone which docks into a 10-inch tablet. Asus has some YouTube videos showing off the Padfone's advantages—hopefully we'll hear more about availability at the show.
 
Ford
Yes, it's weird that Ford is playing such a large role at a mobile phone trade show, but the car company has been trying to recast itself as a rolling technology company for quite a while now. Ford is bringing the B-Max, a chubby little car for European drivers that has absolutely zero chance of ever setting rubber to an American road.
 
Google
Google will have a gigantic booth, and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is presenting a keynote. That said, we don't expect any Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean" announcements at MWC; that's for Google's own I/O conference in May, at the very soonest.

 
HTC
British blog Pocket-Lint is previewing four new HTC Android models, the One S, One X, One V, and One XL. The X has a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, the One S has a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor, and the V is a music-focused handset with Beats Audio, according to the blog. Hopefully, we'll get some time with these handsets, if they actually exist, on Sunday.
 
Huawei
Huawei is having a big to-do on Sunday, aiming to follow up the successes the company has had with Cricket's spectacular Mercury phone and the slim P1 S at CES. Android Community suggests we'll see a Diamond-branded line of devices, including the quad-core Ascend D1 Q phone and a 10-inch tablet. 
 
LG
LG is expected to announce both quad-core Android and new Windows phones at its event on Sunday. The latest invite shows the handsome new handset pictured here. AndroidAndMe.com cites three Android phones, the Nvidia Tegra 3-based, quad-core X3, an Optimus 3D 2, and the very large, Samsung Galaxy Note-like LG Optimus Vu. BGR cites a Romanian blog with photos of a new, low-cost Windows phone called the Miracle.
 
Microsoft
MWC has traditionally been a big show for Windows Phone, but Microsoft is lowering expectations this year by throwing a party rather than a press conference for Windows Phone. We're probably going to see Windows Phone 7.6, codenamed Tango, which brings the platform to less-powerful processors and possibly lower screen resolutions. The company needs this so it can break into developing countries in a bigger way. I'm hoping for Skype integration too.
The big Microsoft event, of course, will come Wednesday, when we get the first consumer preview of Windows 8. We'll be looking especially to see if we can finally get hands-on time with some Windows on ARM tablets, and see what the app situation will be like for that OS.
 
Motorola
Motorola isn't holding an event at MWC, and reps have cautioned me to keep expectations low. That may be because Intel has dibs on showing Motorola's latest gadget, an Ice Cream Sandwich-powered phone, according to PocketNow. Expect the official reveal for that device to come on Monday. 

Nokia PocketNow claims that Nokia will have six new phones to show off at MWC: two Windows phones including high-end and low-cost models, a Symbian device, and three more Asha texting phones for the developing world. The company's announcements are sure to line up with Microsoft's announcement of Tango.

Samsung
Samsung isn't having a press conference at MWC, but it looks like the company is introducing products nonetheless. Slashgear has speculated about a Galaxy Note 10.1, which is a 10-inch tablet with a stylus. We've also heard murmurs of a "Galaxy S II Plus," a faster version of Samsung's Galaxy S II smartphone, and a tablet based on Samsung's new super-fast 2GHz Exynos 5250 chipset.

 
Sony
2012 will be the first MWC without Sony Ericsson, because Sony Ericsson is now just Sony.The Xperia Blog claims that Sony will bring the Xperia U and Xperia P Android phones to the show. The P has a four-inch screen and a 1GHz, dual-core ST-Ericsson processor, and the U is rumored to be a more-affordable phone with an 854-by-480 screen and a 5-megapixel camera, according to PhoneArena.
 
ZTE
ZTE plans a press conference Monday where TechRadar says it will release a "slew of new phones," including both Windows Phone and Android models. With the company's focus on low-cost devices and Microsoft's Tango OS update coming, I expect to see some inexpensive Windows Phones from ZTE at the show.
 
Chipmakers
Nvidia's partners will be launching a bunch of Tegra 3-based phones at the show, and the company is primed to talk more about "Grey," its lower-cost chipset designed to get Nvidia processors into a wider range of phones. TI will offer up some OMAP5 announcements. Qualcomm isn't having a press conference, but it'll likely give a deeper look into the future of its S4 chip line, with processors projected to run at speeds up to 2.5GHz. For Intel, well, see Motorola and Microsoft.
 
Carriers
The CEOs of AT&T and Sprint are both appearing on panels; I expect both will talk about their LTE rollout plans. T-Mobile and Clearwire will also be around the show, though they don't necessarily have announcements planned. Clearwire will likely be walking around rolling up all of LightSquared's former customers.
Voice over LTE will be a hot topic at the show, GSMA executive Michael O'Hara told us, so expect some announcements around moving voice calls over to 4G data networks.
 
… And More
Facebook's CTO will be speaking at the show. RIM's CTO is on a panel. I'm sure there will be surprises, too. In any case, keep it locked to PCMag.com from February 26 through March 2. We'll have all the show news.

 

 

Copyright © 2010 Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc.

Source: What to Expect at Mobile World Congress 2012