At MWC, eWEEK Will Cover… Cool Phones!

We’ve  had a worrying time at eWEEK Europe, planning our Mobile World Congress (MWC) coverage. For a few days, it looked like you, our readers, would prevent us from reporting on phones, from an event which is all about phones.

It seemed simple enough. We gave some free MWC tickets out to those of you we’ve met on our Facebook page, and we asked you all what you most want to hear about from the show.

It was a risk of course. When Justin Bieber asked where the Internet wanted him to perform next, the result was North Korea. What if our mischievous readers consigned us to the mobile porn ghetto or the billing systems section of the mobile industry’s Barcelona trade show?

Poll not slanted enough?

We thought we were safe. After all, we didn’t give you porn or billing as an option, and we put the word “cool” by the phone option, which we thought was a big enough hint.

To our surprise, though, for most of the week, the front runner was femtocells.  In second place all week was tablets, and phones trailed in third place.

Now, we love femtocells as much as the next person. In fact, let’s be honest, probably more. These doughty little devices (like Vodafone’s SureSignal) can increase coverage in your home, using your broadband to give you better mobile coverage. What’s not to like?

Femtos are supposed to replace large parts of the creaking 3G network and we are frankly quite excited about ideas like a personal travel femto (if they really can crack the licensing issues).

We’re also excited about Alcatel Lucent’s somewhat similar plans to shrink base stations and make the whole 3G/4G network much easier and lighter on the planet, and on operators’ pockets.

But let’s be honest, femto launches won’t have razzamatazz. It’s a slow-burner, and the whole point of MWC is the big launches for new phones (and, yes, tablets).

This time round, some players have got in early, with INQ showing its Facebook-centric phones, HP showing tablets and phones running WebOS, and the world preparing for a major Nokia shake-up.

So can we please write about phones? Yes! A late surge put phones just in the lead with 22 percent of the votes, narrowly ahead of tablets and femtocells.

We will of course, be covering all the interesting stuff there – and we won’t ignore LTE, mobile apps, mobile security, mobile payments and all the other things you suggested.

But it is good to know we are on the same page.

So now, tell us about business tablets!

Since so many of you are into tablets, we thought we’d ask which one you think will rule the office.

There’s quite a stack to choose from, but since it’s all at an early stage, we want you to make one of those risky “forward looking” statements, and tell us which one you think will be the best for business.

Obviously the iPad 2 is in there, as is the Samsung Galaxy Tab (in fact, let’s include the Galaxy Tab 2). And for business, there’s the RIM PlayBook. But what about the Dell Streak? And how about Cisco? We haven’t heard much about the Cisco Cius, but that’s supposed to be business grade.

This week of course, we finally got details of the HP WebOS-based TouchPad, based on technology which acquired when Hewlett-Packard bought Palm.

And then there are the Windows options. They don’t have the wow factor, but we’ve included the rugged Motion CL909, and the British-designed iTablet, along with a generic option for the Windows flood which Steve Ballmer still hopes to unleash.

The “other” option is there, for any we’ve forgotten, or which break cover during MWC. Let us know what tablets you think will fit into the office!

Peter Judge

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

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  • just got to be Notion Ink's Adam, which shows real rethink and a well thought-out design, although I think they might be too busy shipping them to attend MWC...

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