Let the 3GSM Recovery and Chin-Stroking Begin

z8.jpgFinally getting over a bad case of jet lag and a bug I picked up in Barcelona, so it’s time to think back over last week a bit. A few initial thoughts: I’m still so glad that 3GSM left Cannes and moved to Barcelona, it’s better in pretty much every way in my estimation. 3GSM itself has ballooned and was bigger than ever, but as I wrote over at Techdirt, there didn’t seem to be a lot of the hype that’s accompanied the show in years past. Hopefully the industry’s learning that creating unattainable levels of hype isn’t such a good thing… but I’m far too cynical to really believe that.

One thing that was noticeable was the clear invasion of the mobile world by internet brands, as some others picked up on as well. It will be interesting to see how this trend plays out, because (surprise surprise), you’ve got operators doing deals on one side (Vodafone with YouTube and MySpace, for instance), then handset vendors working with some of the same companies (Nokia and YouTube, Yahoo and whoever). While it’s heartening to see signs of a sea change, a realization that users want access to the services and sites they’re familiar with on their computers, you get the feeling we’re lining up for another spat over who gets to own the customer or own the relationship or something similarly silly.

There were, of course plenty of handset launches — check out our friends at Phone Scoop, All About Symbian, and MobileBurn for full details. For me, the start was the new Motorola UIQ-based handset, the MOTORIZR Z8 (pic above, shame about the name). This is the sort of device Motorola needed to follow up the RAZR, but more on that LATR.

pr.jpg One of the more esoteric things I noticed was how the PR machine worked around the show. In talking to other bloggers, writers and journalists, we all commented on how there was no one “big story” that was dominating things — because for one thing, there were no earth-shattering announcements, but also perhaps because it’s so difficult to get news out during the show. Unless you’re one of the big names that has a press conference early on, your news is probably going to get lost in the shuffle. For instance, I received roughly 80 PR emails last Monday — and that’s just the ones that made it through my spam filter. With everything that’s going on the first day of the show, meetings, poor connectivity and so on, it would be foolish to think that I’m actually going to look at most, if any of them. However, I think the image here depicts the worst PR pitch of 3GSM 2007: a hand-written sign announcing a “product release”, with a time and booth number, but no company or description of said product. Bet they had an overwhelming turnout.

I’ve got a ton of material to write up from the show, and will be rolling that out over the next several days. In the meantime, you can check out an appearance I made on the Voice of S60 podcast, alongside Rafe Blandford from AAS.

—–>Follow us on Twitter too: @russellbuckley and @caaarlo