Apple doesn't need to be exhibiting at Mobile World Congress to be present. They are, by their show floor absence, there in droves. Apple in 2007 changed the entire mobile phone business with the iPhone and now, every manufacturer tries to out Apple Apple. Perhaps the most envious is Samsung, with their sleek Galaxy S II based on Android, or their upcoming Galaxy Tab II. But the trends they started, or helped to kickstart such as Smartphones as more than the enterprise devices, apps, an app store and a developer program, all ideas that pre-date the iPhone, all are now front and center part of any handset company's eco-system play.
But low and behold, the news out of Cupertino, where leaks are still a daily, and I would suggest, a part of their communciations strategy, comes to the surface of new smaller and lighter iPhones. And, a story like that disrupts all the other news.
Respected analyst, Michael Gartneberg, recently with Altimiter Group tweeted something dead on about Apple last night, summing it up best when he typed "The long shadow cast over Barcelona comes from the company not exhibiting there. That's now become common."
He's right. Even as the organizers try to find a way to have Apple "there" the reality of the situation is Apple is more omni-present by not being in attendance than being here in Barcelona.
So for this years' Mobile World Congress I expect the following to be the core stories:
1. Android, Tablets
3. Optical Networking, traffic management and all involved to move data
4. Video both content and communications, the problems and the potential solutions
5. Apps, apps and more apps, but with an enterprise twist leading the way
6. Services-yes, there is a cloudy future and it's got a silver and green lining
Here's to another week in "Wonderland!"