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Google Android dominates Mobile World Congress show

Category: Business

Published: 14th Feb 2011 09:26:48

As Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona, a host of mobile firms have launched new devices, many featuring Google's Android operating system.

Headline grabbers include Sony Ericsson with its smartphone-cum-gaming device, dubbed the Xperia Play.

Rival Samsung has unveiled a new tablet, the Galaxy 10.,which as the name suggests features a bigger 10.1 inch (26cm) screen.

Meanwhile LG will be showing off the first mobile phone with 3D capability.

Sony Ericsson's launch attracted a big crowd as it unveiled it not-so-secret PlayStation phone, which it is hoping will appeal to the widening mobile gaming market as well as to more hardcore gamers.

The device - dubbed the PlayStation phone - has a pull-out control pad and will feature a catalogue of games, from Electronic Art's Fifa series to Assassin's Creed, the Sims and Dungeon Defender.

As the Mobile World Congress gets underway in Barcelona it's clear that Google's Android is fast becoming the industry's 800lb gorilla”

It is launching with 20 gaming partners and will be available from March.

Sony Ericsson has signed up Verizon as its US partner while in the UK the Xperia Play will be carried by all operators.

Sylvia Chind, head of branded devices at network operator Three, said the handset was a "step change in the way in which consumers use data, merging mobile communications and entertainment".

Analyst Ian Fogg, from research firm Forrester, thinks it represents a real challenge to Apple's dominance: "It is an extremely competitive device and shows that Apple will not be the only player in the mobile gaming market," he said.

But just as Sony Ericsson has leveraged the PlayStation brand so others may follow, he thinks.

"Nokia, Microsoft, Apple and Google also have other assets they could bring to the mobile experience," he said.

Guy Cocker, the editor of gaming website GameSpot said the phone aimed to please both the casual and the more hardcore gamer.

Gaming, he said, was no longer a niche activity.

"People want to play games wherever they are...from fans of Angry Birds through to those who want to play more traditional games on their mobiles," he said

Not to be overshadowed by its rival, Samsung has put down its mark as a very real contender to the iPad, with its new version of the Galaxy Tab.

Announced just before the Samsung's official Mobile World Congress 2011 press announcement, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 has a number of new features, the most significant being its bigger, 10.1 inch screen.

It will run on the latest version of Android, dubbed Honeycomb, and designed specifically for tablet devices.

LG's 3D tablet and phone are also powered by Android.

Both allow users to users to shoot 3D images and video, as well as upload their clips directly to YouTube.

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BBC News, 2011. Google Android dominates Mobile World Congress show [Online] (Updated 14th Feb 2011)
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