Mobile is the story of 2013. This year, the industry will ship five billion mobile chipsets. By 2015, there will be three billion people connected to the Internet and, according to Cisco, over 15 billion connected devices. What does it all mean? Come with me to Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona from February 25-28 and I'll show you.
MWC will highlight the impact of mobile across a range of industries. With more than 70,000 attendees; 1,500 exhibitors; 3,000 accredited press and over 3,500 business leaders and C-Suite executives, MWC will challenge and educate attendees, providing essential insights on the latest technological developments, market opportunities, next-generation services, and devices, which are shaping mobile communications.
This year, Mobile World Congress moved into the Fira Gran Via, a state-of-the-art exhibit hall that is so big you can see it from Space. I walked the venue in December and, truth be told, I'm glad I was wearing sneakers. The Fira is huge! And when it's filled with products and people, it will be a sight to behold. I am really looking forward to experiences MWC in the new venue.
Apple vs. Android vs. Windows Phone 8 vs. BB10 vs. Feature Phones
If you live in the United States, it's easy to have an Apple-centric view of the mobile universe. iDevices have had a remarkable impact on our pop culture. This is less true for the rest of the world. One of the most striking aspects of MWC is how "non-Apple-centric" it is. There's a big, bright, beautiful world of mobile out there and, surprise! It's not all Apple.
"The New Mobile Horizon"
The big focus this year is the "New Mobile Horizon." The GSMA, the organization that stages MWC says, "The mobile ecosystem is expanding at lightning speed, with endless innovation and new applications of mobile technology. From contactless payments and augmented reality to embedded devices and connected cities -- mobile technology is changing the landscape. The impact mobile will have on the world is limitless."
By the end of the year, there will be more connected devices on earth than people living on the planet. Phones are more powerful than ever before, they do more than ever before and they're showing up in more places than ever before.
As our world gets more and more connected, smartphones and tablets will not only do the work of laptops, they are likely to replace or enhance more traditional objects like wallets and credit cards. An Internet of Things... that's the New Mobile Horizon.
Just like at any convention, everyone at MWC will be showing off the latest and greatest technology. From start-ups to heavy hitters, we're guaranteed to see more than just a few things that will make us say, "Wow."
In addition to the 1,500+ exhibitors showing off products on the floor, Mobile World Congress is also home to a world-class thought-leadership conference that features visionary keynotes and panel discussions. Whether you want to experience the floor for yourself (with me on a VIP Tour) or soak in the wisdom of the excellent keynote speakers, you will leave MWC with the best possible understanding of the state of mobile connectivity worldwide.
This year, Barcelona is going to be a great place for advertisers, marketers and networkers. MWC proclaims it is the "world's best venue for seeking industry opportunities, making deals, and networking," I agree. MWC is also home to mPowered Brands, where marketers, advertisers and global brands explore the possibilities in mobile marketing. Shelly Palmer Digital Leadership is an mPowered Brand Supporting Sponsor and we will be happy to curate your experience at MWC.
My personal favorite part of MWC is App Planet, the "Center of the Mobile Apps Universe," where the mobile app community will gather to learn, network and engage with innovators. Powerful hardware and awesome new phones are great, but apps are key to great user experiences.
See You There!
Whether you're a first-time Mobile World Congress visitor or whether heading to Barcelona in February has become an annual tradition, there's no better or more exciting place to be if you're a tech and mobile junkie like me. There are bound to be surprises and awesome tech to look at, hear about and play with.
Just like at CES, I'll be giving highly curated, executive VIP floor tours showing off the absolute best that Mobile World Congress has to offer. We will help you identify and understand key technologies and services, differentiate offerings, and create action items and strategic take-aways from the show. We're getting close! See you in Barcelona.