Barcelona bound: GSMA 2009 preview

CNET gives you a preview of what they expect to see at the 2009 GSMA Mobile World Congress. It's shaping up to be quite an exciting show.

CNET Networks

In just a couple of days, a few of us lucky CNET folk, including myself, Kent German, CNET News's Maggie Reardon, and CNET TV's Ariel Nunez, will be boarding a jet plane to head to Barcelona, Spain, for the 2009 GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) show.

This is where the cell phone industry converges every year to discuss and showcase the latest GSM technologies and developments, and over the years, it's become the place where handset manufacturers reveal their new models for the year.

Just take the 2008 show for example. GSMA is where we saw the debut of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, Samsung Soul, and the Nokia N96, just to name a few. We also got a look at the first Google Android prototype .

It looks like 2009 is going to be an even bigger year. News has already been flowing in, weeks before the official start of the show. Garmin-Asus announced a strategic alliance and said they will unveil a second Nuvifone at MWC. Samsung previewed its new TouchWiz user interface, and we suspect we'll see some new devices rocking the fresh UI. Sony Ericsson also introduced a couple of handsets preshow, and we don't think that'll be the last we hear from them. In fact, the company has a press conference scheduled on February 15.

Other events include a press conference by Acer on February 16 where the company will unveil its new smartphone as well as press conferences from Nokia, HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Microsoft. Palm will be at the show, though we haven't heard a whole lot about what they will have--perhaps a GSM version of the Palm Pre?

We also expect to see some new Google Android devices, especially since a number of handset manufacturers, such as Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and Garmin, have committed to bringing an Android phone to market this year.

As you can see, it's shaping up to be quite an exciting show. The 2009 GSMA Mobile World Congress event runs February 16 to February 19, and we'll all be there early to report back on all the sights and sounds. You can also follow me on Twitter for show highlights and any Barcelona adventures. Hopefully, nothing like last year though.

Now that I've give you our take, let me ask you: What do you expect or want to see at MWC?

 

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