There has been a lot of coverage of mobile world congress. I have said before that the event was a success and also that we, as an industry are adding value when there is so much economic chaos around us. GSMA also validates this trend by their statistics and attendee numbers GSMA Releases Congress Visitor Stats
If there was an underlying theme for the event, then I think it was ‘practical innovation’ i.e. innovation designed to solve problems. This is a more interesting trend which I genuinely like. However, there is also space for radical innovation and also incremental innovation. Hence, I will discuss innovation in these themes below. By ‘incremental innovation’, I mean changes that take a few years to manifest but are significant. Most changes in the devices, networks and infrastructure will be in this space. The challenge for incremental innovation is: Customers may be overtaken by more nimble/sometimes imperfect services. And then, there is radical innovation which may be a game changer
I will provide a series of links to announcements that caught my eye in the show (and afterwards). But first, a note of caution: Let’s not forget what happened to Palm AFTER the MWC. Last year, Palm was an ‘innovator’ with much talk of its ‘comeback’. Today, there is an overall doom and gloom around Palm. . Palm’s products may be good .. But does it matter when the industry is moving so fast and customers have so much choice? Will developers continue to support a waning platform? Today, we see excellent new devices from Samsung, Microsoft, HTC and others which were not present a year ago. All this means that the rate of change has increased. This is a matter for optimism but also caution as the woes of Palm demonstrate.
Firstly, before we discuss further, some of the big announcements. Again, I provide links so that I don’t duplicate much of what we have seen before.
VOIP and Skype. See the white paper written by me and Chetan on the tipping point for VOIP
Also see my talk as well: Is Twittter the glue for the Internet of things?
Incremental innovation which could be pointers to bigger trends
Image: Gyro Gearloose – the archetypal mad scientist/innovator in Disney comics