BARCELONA, Spain -- OK. Now I feel complete.I've finally seen and held a Garmin ( GRMN) nuvifone. In all honesty, it wasn't a real nuvifone. It was a sorta nuvifone. Let me explain. Garmin brought a few semi-operational nuvifones to display here at the 2008 Mobile World Congress. I call them semi-operational because the screen lights up. But we're not sure what else they can do. That's because they're kept locked away. In display cases. Under glass. I'm now nicknaming it the Pheasant phone!
Nokia Makes Its Own NewsEuropean mobile-phone giant Nokia ( NOK) has created the largest, most hospitable display booth at the show. The multilevel masterpiece is turning out to be the hip meeting place at the show. The free refreshments also play a part in the appeal.
The BlackBerry BlackoutSome thoughts about BlackBerry's North American service outage Monday afternoon. From the European point of view, it was only a big deal for visitors from North America. They were the Crackberry users who went without their email for hours.
All of the British and European BlackBerry users I talked with said they had no problem with their email. They had no idea what all the fuss was about. Good for them but bad for us. I think Research In Motion ( RIMM) needs to work a lot harder to make sure that North American users, who make up something like 75% of its total 12 million users worldwide, continue to be happy campers. I'm using the term "users" here to describe an addiction to their mobile email devices -- not necessarily to drugs, etc. What RIM doesn't need is for the "Crackberry" nickname to turn into "Black-out-berry."