Though last month's CES offered, committed wireless watchers know that the annual Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona is the smartphone and tablet jackpot.
This year, the fun begins on February 27 with a full afternoon of press conferences coming the day before. And though a possible transit strike is threatening to muck up the logistics of an already logistically challenged event, we're already reveling in a flood of rumors as to what devices might make their debut. Yes, some of this gossip may not pan out, but you can bet that the four days on the Mediterranean will be full. Now follow along as we round up the rumors from the major players.
The Taiwanese giant to introduce . The HTC Quattro should (naturally) be a quad-core tablet with 1GB RAM and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the midrange HTC Primo should offer a 3.7-inch Super AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass, the may bring a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor and Ice Cream Sandwich, and the HTC Edge "superphone" should land with a quad-core processor and a 4.7-inch display. CNET's Jessica Dolcourt if we'll see a European version of the .
Our friends at Lucky Goldstar (did you know that's what LG stands for?) have yet to schedule a press conference (one is promised), but look for it to spill a couple of new devices at least. Just today the company started dropping hints about an . The internal specs of the Android handset aren't too out of the ordinary (Gingerbread anyone?), but it's a different story on the outside. We should get a 5-inch screen (1024x768-pixel) with an unorthodox 4:3 aspect ratio.
On the other hand, perhaps LG will go another Android route. Thealso promise interesting displays with the former claiming a 640x480-pixel resolution and the latter a 4.7-inch screen. Then again, the company might release a Windows Phone 7 device called the . CNET's Lynn La wasn't impressed by the concept photos, and the features aren't mind-blowing either, but the the possibility of NFC is promising.
LG's crosstown rival the Galaxy III until after the show, but of a Galaxy S Plus and a faster Galaxy Nexus. Outside of phones, the company may broaden the Galaxy Tab line by introducing a 2GHz device
Two years after it first unveiled Windows Phone 7 to the world at the 2010 event, Microsoft will host a Windows 8 preview on Wednesday, February 29. As CNET's Jay Greene the OS will focus on tablets and PCs (so in other words, no Windows Phone 8), but we will see the company's new Metro interface.
After a very quiet show in 2011, Nokia will return to Barcelona in force. The company has scheduled a where (surprise, surprise) it will roll out Windows Phone 7 handsets. Details are few at this point, but Jessica is banking on . It may not be , but the Mobile World Congress will be a crucial platform for Nokia to demonstrate its Windows Phone ambitions to the world.
Strangely, the Sony rumors have been few and far between. Mobile World Congress has always been a huge venue for the company so it will show something. All we know at the moment is that Sony will hold a press event on Sunday, February 26 and that it for an "Xperia Sola" name.
We'll continue to track rumors as they trickle in over the next three weeks. And when the Mobile World Congress kicks off the last weekend of this month, a big CNET team will be on the ground in Barcelona to bring you all the news.