[Best of the Web — Tuesday, 16 February 2010]
The news is flowing thick and fast on day two of the world’s preeminent cellphone industry conference, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. We’ll be bringing you the highlights of the event each day this week, including the important product launches and other announcements, so be sure to check back regularly. If you don’t already subscribe to our free daily newsletter, delivered each morning at 5am central African time, you can do so here. Or follow us on Twitter.
Put mobiles before PCs, says Google’s Schmidt: In a wide-ranging keynote address at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, pictured, defended the company against accusations from mobile operators that it wants to turn them into “dumb pipes” (see next item), suggested that Google’s future lay in mobile devices more than in computers tethered to desktops, and touted Adobe Flash support in mobile devices running the company’s Android operating system. [The Inquirer] [Reuters] [PC World]
Vodafone warns of Google dominance: Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone, the world’s second-largest cellphone group by subscriber numbers, used a stage at Mobile World Congress to warn of Google’s growing dominance in Web search and advertising and suggested regulators should intervene to prevent the company from becoming a monopoly. “From a policy perspective, this should be looked into,” he said. “We need to ensure choice and avoid concentration before it’s too late.” [The Register] [The Guardian]
Ericsson demos 1Gbit/s LTE: Swedish telecommunications equipment manufacturer Ericsson has demonstrated a fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network at Mobile World Congress able to download data at 1Gbit/s. To date, Ericsson has signed commercial LTE contracts with five major global operators; AT&T in the US, Verizon in the US, TeliaSonera in Norway and Sweden, MetroPCS in the US and DoCoMo in Japan. For the demonstration, Ericsson used four carriers of 20MHz each. Motorola, meanwhile, announced that it had won a contract to build Saudi Arabia’s first LTE network. At the same time, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg has predicted there will be 50m connected devices by 2020. [Fierce Wireless]
Symbian Foundation shows off new OS: The Symbian Foundation, which develops the Symbian operating system for mobile phones used by Nokia and other handset manufacterers has been demonstrating its Symbian 3 platform at Mobile World Congress. It’s the first fully open-source version of the popular handset software. “Now that it is fully open source, the door is open to individual contributors, device creators and third-party developer companies, as well as other organisations, to create more compelling products and services,” a Symbian spokesman said. Symbian 3 will include support for multi-touch finger gestures, 3D acceleration and HDMI, needed to connect handsets to high-definition screens. [eWeek]
HTC takes the wraps off Legend: Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC has announced three new handsets at this year’s Mobile World Congress, but it’s the Legend, which runs the latest version of the open-source Android operating system, that is stealing most of the attention. Analysts say the single-block aluminium phone could give Apple’s iPhone a run for its money. The Legend has a bright 3,2-inch LED display and, despite the unibody design, includes a user-removable battery, unlike the iPhone. The Legend is expected to go on sale in April. The two other handsets announced by HTC are the Desire, which has also been garnering a fair amount of attention for its large 3,7-inch screen, and the Bravo. [The Guardian] [The Telegraph] [PC World]
- Eric Schmidt image credit: World Economic Forum