Gphone and Other Highlights From Barcelona Tech Show
BARCELONA -- The 2008 Mobile World Congress has come to a close.
Hopeful cellular manufacturers are breaking down their display booths and tens of thousands of weary showgoers also are packing up and wending their way back home -- to nearly every corner of the planet.
My producer/videographer Dee Robertson agreed that while the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was a somewhat larger show, this Mobile World Congress was smaller but much more global in scope -- with English-speaking attendees in the minority.
Maybe it's because the U.S. cell phone market is out of step with the rest of the world with not only GSM phones (used everywhere on the planet) but also Verizon (VZ)/ Sprint (S)-centric CDMA handsets.But this show did provide us with some new items that we'll be talking about for the rest of the year. We got our first glimpse of what is being called the Gphone -- or at least the operating system rumored to be inside it. We were allowed to look at a number of devices running, in some shape or form, the Android platform -- an open-source operating system for future mobile phones and devices. Since Google (GOOG) is a big player in Android's development, it was no surprise to find Gmail, Google Search and Google Maps as integral programs in the new platform. We were told that Android would look and act differently on different devices. I can tell you that even in this very early state Android looked very cool -- and was able to run nicely on a somewhat ancient handset with a low-powered ARM processor. I can only imagine what it can do on more capable hardware.
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