Handset-wise, the product that seemed to make the biggest show-floor splash was the
But from the podium, the news was all about the mobile Web, which Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin said in "will shape the future development of the industry and change who the successful companies are going to be.
"The mobile Internet is the new, new thing in the industry," he said. "And it is here for real and happening now."
A case in point was Yahoo's big announcement at the show of
Marco Boerries, Yahoo's executive vice president of "connected life," introduced the
Practically speaking, this means that search results will expand from traditional hyperlinks into other media--a search for "New York" could yield subway schedules, for example, or a search for local sushi restaurants could bring up Zagat's ratings and reviews along with one-click reservations. And searching the name of a friend could provide links to the social-networking sites that the friend uses.
Another related product unveiled at the show was the latest version of Microsoft's mobile operating system,
Of course, developments in the mobile Web relate directly to efforts on the part of U.S. mobile operators to open up their networks. Federal Communications Chairman Kevin Martin, in fact,
Martin said he'd circulate an order among the FCC commissioners to dismissrules to the wireless industry. The Carterfone decision by the FCC in 1968 forced the Bell telephone monopoly to open up and allow outside devices to run on its closed network, as long as the devices didn't cause damage to the system.
Dan Hesse, Sprint Nextel's CEO, who also spoke at CTIA, said this will continue to make it easier for customers to get access to any application and to use a wide variety of devices on the network.
"The 'walled garden' networks are a thing of the past," he said. "As a charter member of Open Handset Alliance, we will explore and push wireless data even further than it's ever been pushed before."
And Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam also made it clear during his keynote speech that the industry has to be proactive to keep regulation at bay. He said that if the carriers open up their networks and listen to what customers want, there will be no need for regulators to get involved.
All the talk of openness got us thinking about Google's work on its previously announced Android Linux-based mobile operating system, which is far from finished. AT&T at the CTIA show said
Google, for it's part this week, also clarified that it participated in the recent wireless spectrum auction not with the goal to win, but to help drive bidding high enough
Tuning into music industry
It was also a big week for music industry news, which peaked Thursday with the
The service will roll out gradually over the next three to four months and offer free streaming music, unprotected MP3 downloads, ringtones, and e-commerce offerings such as merchandise and ticket sales. The goal is to make MySpace a one-stop shop for everything music.
The verdict's still out, however, on whether MySpace Music will be a legitimate challenger to
Among the top four music companies participating in MySpace Music, EMI was the lone holdout. Perhaps that has something to do with EMI's incoming chief of its digital unit, Douglas Merrill, who
In other music news, the troubled SpiralFrog music service
Hardware and hard times
In other news this week, the low-power, low-cost
Meanwhile, in a sign of some trying economic times, several technology companies announced plans to scale back operations and lay off employees. Dell is
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