BARCELONA, Spain--The 2011 Mobile World Congress offered plenty of new handsets, tablets, and industry news. With so much going on it was difficult to take it all in, but CNET took some time to capture the top sights of the show. If you couldn't be in Barcelona, check out what you missed.
The Google booth was arguably the most popular booth there. And this slide from the upper floor to the ground floor was its most popular attraction.
Envy the glamorous life of the tech reporter, always getting to play with the the latest gadgets? It's not all fun and games. Here's a view of just part of the throng of press that mobbed Samsung's event, skipping the snacks and drinks to avoid losing strategic placement near the door.
Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia has been under construction since 1882 and likely won't be done before 2030 under the current plan. Strictly speaking it's not part of Mobile World Congress, but we're showing it to you since so many conference attendees see this iconic Barcelona sight--and because they might not in future years with the possibility that the show will move to another city.
Mobile World Congress is held at Fira de Barcelona, which is the city's main exhibition center. From the main gates on the Placa d'Espanya, Mobile World Congress stretched to Montjuic park, the site of the 1992 Olympics. Directly ahead on the hill is the Catalan Museum of Art.
JK Shin, president of Samsung's mobile communications business, talks about Samsung's software additions to its Android-based line of Galaxy products. Adding software to Android is a balancing act: handset makers and carriers like to differentiate their products from rivals', but doing so complicates compatibility and operating system upgrades.
There was a day when European companies such as Nokia dominated the mobile phone market. Now Chinese manufacturers such as ZTE and Huawei are a major force, and U.S. companies such as Apple and Google are powerful, too.
Going straight for deep mammalian instincts, LG Electronics mocked up 3D baby pictures to try to show why people would want to buy the Optimus 3D smartphone. The phone comes with dual cameras to take 3D video and an autostereoscopic screen that requires no glasses to view 3D imagery.
Before Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke, the company showed an animation of new Android phone activations. Note that Android is a real force in major markets, including the United States, which for years was mocked by Asians and Europeans for its laggard status in the smartphone market.
Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son boasted that his acquisition of Vodafone Japan for $20 billion in cash--$18 billion of which it had to borrow--might have seemed "crazy," but it's paid off as the company increased revenue per user through data subscription plans and increased its market share overall. He also declared himself an optimist through and through.
Cisco CEO John Chambers, speaking at Mobile World Congress, offered an optimistic view of the networking business. He also said to get in on the next big trend, a company must start investing in it five years before that trend's readiness in the marketplace.
The Linux-based MeeGo operating system, the fruit of a union between Nokia and Intel, is shown here in an in-dash system for navigation, multimedia, and more. This system by Geely uses an Intel Atom processor.
You wouldn't expect a CDMA carrier to appear at a GSM-based trade show, but Verizon Wirless' move to LTE shows how the cell phone business is changing and how the United States is taking a lead role in 4G.