I'm in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress - yes, we're here mob-handed. So far, the main thing that's struck me is just how much money Samsung is spreading around. Yesterday as I walked through the city I was overtaken by a small flotilla of Smartcars, all done up in Samsung livery.
Then, going over to the exhibition centre earlier to pick up my badge I couldn't miss the huge Samsung banners. Mind you, one of them was actually a giant Telefonica banner, advertising Samsung's attempt at a BlackBerry-like QWERTYphone. "Ladies and gentlemen, Windows has left the office", it announced in Spanish.
Is Windows Mobile news? Only to someone who's been hiding under a rock for the last few years, surely. I know the mobile operators are in general a pretty clueless bunch, but they're not that bad, are they?
It does highlight one of the themes for the Congress though, which is that Microsoft wants consumers to buy WinMob phones. It has already done a fair job persuading businesses, but consumers by and large are still practical enough to want something that actually works well as a phone (iPhone buyers excepted, of course).
The other big theme is going to be mobile video and mobile TV. Once again, the mobile industry is working itself up into an Emperor's new clothes-like fervour that at last they've found the Holy Grail which will bring their magic ARPU (average revenue per user) figures back to the levels they once enjoyed.
It's all self-delusion, as far as I can see. People won't pay for Youtube on the web, so why would they pay for it on a phone?.After all, it's just data, and that's already gone flat-rate in many countries.
The cat is out of the bag, and rather than try to recapture it, maybe they should try a more realistic business line - selling cat-food, say....