The CTIA tradeshow was this week, and it was chock full of announcements, some big but many of them small. In an attempt to make sure that the important news doesn’t get lost in all the hubbub, I’ve put together my list of the five most significant stories from this tradeshow.
1) There can be little doubt that the official announcement of Windows Mobile 6.1 was the high point of the week. Smartphones from numerous companies have been stuck in limbo for too long, waiting for Microsoft to unveil their operating system.
And I was very happy to see that the new version will fix the most glaring problem with the current one; Internet Explorer Mobile will no longer be five years out of date, and will stop being a hindrance to Windows Mobile and actually become a benefit.
I only wish some smartphones running this operating system had been released this week.
- Microsoft Announces Windows Mobile 6.1
- Video Preview of the Next Two Versions of Internet Explorer Mobile
2) It might not be obvious now, but Velocity Mobile — which made its official debut this week — is going to be an important part of the smartphone market. Its partnership with Inventec, one of giants of high-tech manufacturing, assures this.
I had a chance to meet with the top executives of this company, who gave me an overview of not only their first two products, the Velocity 103 and 111, but also a sneak peek at some smartphones that will be available later on. I was impressed, but that’s all I’m allowed to say.
3) CTIA was buzzing with talk about WiMax, and the device with this 4G technology I thought was most interesting is a version of the Nokia N810.
The current model is a great device already, but WiMax will make this Internet Tablet much more useful. Instead of being a companion for a smartphone, the upcoming version will be a smartphone alternative, thanks to its support for Skype, Gizmo, and other VoIP systems.
The only downside to this model is its dependence on the Xohm WiMax service, which is having trouble getting off the starting line.
4) While I was in a nearly constant round of meetings or pounding the CTIA show floor, Adama Brown was hard at work covering device announcements.
Greater product availability is always good, but I was a bit disappointed that every time a wireless carrier announced a new smartphone, it was a model that was already on the market from another carrier. Some genuinely new models would have been good.
Smartphones announced at CTIA:
- HTC Touch Dual – Unlocked
- Motorola Q9c – Verizon
- RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 – Sprint
- RIM Blackberry Curve 8330 – Verizon
- RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8120 – T-Mobile USA
- Verizon XV6900 – Verizon
5) One of the biggest stories from CTIA is what didn’t happen: really anything having to do with Android.
I was hoping to see some of the devices running this upcoming operating system that companies say they are putting together — especially the HTC Dream — but no such luck.
And there were no significant announcements either. True, AT&T’s CEO said his company had opened up to the idea of Android-based smartphones, but that was about as Earth-shattering as it got. It was nice to hear myself that Sprint is also open to Android, but that’s not really news.
Incidentally, I still have some videos recorded at CTIA to post on the site, and some comments on upcoming devices to go along with them. Keep your eyes open for these in the next few days.