February 27, 2013Michael Copeland
Looking to sound knowledgeable about the latest gadgets and gizmos coming out of Mobile World Congress 2013, but couldn’t afford a ticket to Barcelona? Never fear. Here’s a list of standout stories that captured attention, and in some cases, raised eyebrows.
ZTE Debuts a Giant Smartphone
As described by The Verge, the Chinese manufacturer's new giant smartphone, the 5.7-inch Grand Memo,is enormous. The latest entry in the emerging “smartphone-tablet” category, it’s expected to launch in China in March, with a European release later this year.
Samsung Takes on the iPad mini
Samsung launched its smallest Note product to date, the Galaxy Note 8.0, which targets itself as Apple iPad Mini’s main competitor.
Asus Takes on the Samsung Galaxy Note
As reported by Techradar, the hybrid-obsessed folk at Asus took advantage of the MWC forum to announce a tablet that's also a phone (the Padphone Infinity) and now a phone that's also a tablet (the Phonepad). Can you say Padphone phablet or Phonepad phablet three times?
HP Gets Back in the Tablet Biz
HP announced its return to the tablet space with a new Android-based model. The budget-priced 7-inch, 13-ounce Slate 7 is expected to launch in the U.S. in April at $169.
Nokia Remembers its Roots
CNET described Nokia’s new budget and midrange handsets as harkening back to the Nokia of old. The latest additions to its Windows Phone 8 range are the Lumia 720 and 520. The Nokia 105, priced at 15-euros (just under $20 USD) targets the budget-conscious demographic.
Qualcomm Touts the Internet of Everything
Connected products, apps and services need a common communications protocol and Qualcomm is evangelizing the open-source AllJoyn SDK as a key building block. The vision (i.e., Digital 6th Sense) is for devices of all types to seamlessly connect and interact, regardless of OS.
Mozilla Takes on Apple and Android
Speaking of open-source, there was lots of coverage at MWC about Mozilla’s new browser-based Firefox OS, pitched as a better alternative for low-end smartphones in developing markets. Alcatel, LG, Huawei and Sony are onboard to ship the first wave of Firefox phones later this year, supported by 18 operators.
Connected Cars Enter the Fast Lane
AT&T announced its deal to take over as the broadband provider for GM vehicles, prompting Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson to predict, “The connected car will be as common as smartphones.” On a related note, Ford announced that Spotify will be coming to Fordsync, its in-car infotainment system.
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