Once a year, tens of thousands in the mobile industry descend upon the charming city of Barcelona, Spain. Not for the paella on Las Ramblas, nor to see the psychedelic architecture of the famous artist Gaudi, nor to escape our colder climates for the temperate shores of the Mediterranean. No – we head to Barcelona to take part of arguably the most important show of the mobile industry – Mobile World Congress. Having spent the better part of last week there, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on what is creating a buzz.
First, I was able to spend a considerable amount of time in the Motorola booth, and play with the new Atrix smartphone and the Xoom tablet. I can safely say that the Xoom is worth all of the praise it received at CES this year. The Android 3.0 interface is impressive – not only in its intuitive layout and color schemes, but also in its use of widgets. As a longtime Apple user, I’d become accustomed to having one app open at a time. Moreover, I’d resigned myself to seeing the app consume the entire display. With 3.0, and the use of widgets, you can scroll through your email, browse the top videos on YouTube, or launch into one of your favorite apps – all from the main screen. Now I understand why Google has said 3.0 is optimized for tablets. I definitely plan to purchase one of the Xoom tablets when they become available. My only disappointment was trying to get a straight answer from the reps in the Motorola booth on when it would actually become available.
Now, let’s move to the Atrix smartphone. What struck me most about the Atrix was the multitude of accessories, docks and use cases Motorola was demonstrating beyond a traditional smartphone. Want to drive a monitor over HDMI? How about a USB keyboard? Yep, it does that. They also showed an impressive demo where you can turn the Atrix into a remote control that connects a Motorola set top box and a TV. Very impressive and well thought through. They’ve also got Smartbook-type doc station with a display and keyboard/touchpad combo. Guess what drives those? Yep, your Atrix smartphone.
As I reflect on my flight home at 34,000 ft, and If I look beyond the tech-hungry, gadget-loving consumer in me, I see substantial opportunity for QuickLogic. And I think it is something that Google has enabled. Android has undoubtedly been a very successful mobile operating system – enabling mobile OEMs to adopt a common platform that has seen a rapid climb in market share. There were so many Android-based smartphones and tablets at the show this year that it is impossible to recall all of them. How do these OEMs differentiate their products from one another if the operating system is the same? Herein lies the opportunity for QuickLogic.
Over the next couple of quarters, you’ll see more announcements from us for solutions that we believe will enable innovations in products and user experiences. Stay tuned.