MWC 2010

Next-gen Chipsets: next-gen convergence

Next-gen Chipsets: next-gen convergence

Even before you leave an event like Mobile World Congress 2010 you get used to people asking you what the most interesting or exciting thing you've seen at the show has been. This year, while there was no shortage of impressive hardware imminent to the market, the real promise for me was in next-gen chipsets. Texas Instruments, NVIDIA, Freescale, Marvell, Qualcomm and others had all brought their wares along to demo, and the promises - not to mention the step up from existing platforms - were flowing thick and fast. So, what sort of devices can we expect using these new chipsets?

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Nokia N97 experience “a tremendous disappointment” admits exec [Video]

Nokia N97 experience “a tremendous disappointment” admits exec [Video]

The Nokia N97 was not, to be blunt, the darling device the geeks among us were hoping for.  Suffering from a sizeable delay between initial announcement and availability, together with poor release firmware, it generally ditched in reviews.  Speaking candidly at MWC 2010 last week, Nokia's EVP of markets, Anssi Vanjoki, admitted that "the N97 was a tremendous disappointment in terms of the experience quality for the consumer".  Check out the video interview after the cut.

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Moblic E7 WiMAX MID of mystery

Moblic E7 WiMAX MID of mystery

One of the best things about MWC 2010 is that you can come across completely unexpected devices quite by accident.  Moblic were discretely showing off their E7 WiMAX MID, with a sliding form-factor, QWERTY keyboard, 4-inch WVGA touchscreen and gaming controls.  According to Carrypad, people at the booth didn't know too much about the MID itself - even the identity of the 600MHz processor is a mystery.

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Mobile OS Madness in Barcelona

Mobile OS Madness in Barcelona

Another Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has come and gone, and this one was clearly Microsoft’s show. “Windows Phone 7 Series” is nearly impossible to say out loud, but the OS itself meets the user interface bar set by Apple and Palm while tying together all of Microsoft’s consumer brands. I got hands on time with a prototype and was impressed, but if you want an early look yourself, you don’t need to be an analyst with access to high level Microsoft executives, you just need to scrape together $220 and buy a Zune HD. Zune lends WP7 both its user interface conventions and its PC software for media management, synchronization, and purchase. Microsoft still needs to convince developers to support the platform, but the company is relevant in mobile again for the first time in years.

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Keep taking the Tablets

Keep taking the Tablets

Like the charming, fey uncle your grandmother warned you against showering with, Apple's iPad has us confused. Tablets have broached the mainstream and, like CES 2010 last month, this past week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona saw several more companies show their hand. Each of the chipset companies we spoke to - Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, Freescale, Marvell and others - included tablets among the target market for their ARM-based wares, and we played with various concepts, prototypes and mockups, many of which are destined for release within the next twelve months.

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HTC Desire vs. Google Nexus One

HTC Desire vs. Google Nexus One

One of the biggest announcements from MWC 2010 this past week has been the official debut of the HTC Desire, instantly dubbed the Google Nexus One with HTC Sense. With HTC the OEM parent behind both theirs and the Google-branded smartphone, would-be buyers (and potentially remorseful Nexus One owners) are already looking for the differentiating factors between the two; check out our head-to-head comparison after the cut.

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Synaptics Fuse hands-on [Video]

Synaptics Fuse hands-on [Video]

Synaptics' Fuse concept is starting to look a little prescient, now that we're seeing devices like the Motorola BACKFLIP and Notion Ink Adam putting trackpads on their rear panel despite also having touch-sensitive displays. We caught up with the Synaptics team at MWC 2010 this week to find out what they've been working on, and spend some very literal hands-on time with their Fuse prototype.

Video demo after the cut

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MiFi GPS apps get video demo; new versions discussed

MiFi GPS apps get video demo; new versions discussed

We've been waiting to hear about Novatel Wireless' plans for the MiFi portable internet hotspot and their developer program, and it turns out they've been busy working on improving longevity and enabling GPS-linked apps.  UMPC Portal caught up with the company at MWC 2010, and found out that the next-gen MiFi is on course to pack the same 3G sharing over WiFi only with extended battery life, USB charging from a notebook, and new GPS firmware.

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