Weekly Wrap: Trade Show Time
By Carlo Longino, Fri Oct 17 09:00:00 GMT 2003

The mobile industry -- with several noticeable exceptions -- gathered in Geneva this week for the ITU World Telecom show, generating the expected bits of news, other industry players released their latest quarterly earnings, and more...

The ITU show is held every 4 years, and is generally a pretty bog stop on the telecom trade show tour, but a lot of big players skipped out on it (and the expense of building a ridiculously huge booth). Some smaller companies seemed to try to take advantage of this and get their time in the spotlight, but the news was still dominated by the big dogs.

Microsoft and Vodafone turned heads early in the week when they said they'd work together to extend Web services standards to mobile devices, in an effort to open the mobile market to existing Web services developers. But while the two companies have said they'll eventually work with the industry as a whole, some are likely to see the move as hijacking ongoing work of existing industry bodies like the Open Mobile Alliance or The Parlay Group.

Also coming out of the show was a blast of hot air from NTT DoCoMo CEO Keiji Tachikawa, who pooh-poohed 3G, saying it was a decade away from widespread use, using the bold prediction to beat the drum for DoCoMo's so far underwhelming efforts to promote i-mode in Europe.

Handset makers LG and Panasonic also used the show as a platform for some bold statements, with LG, in all seriousness, saying it wanted to be the top 3G handset vendor, and Panasonic saying it wanted to triple its global market share and become a top-fice vendor in two years. We'll keep you updated on those...

But LG also said they planned to use both Microsoft and Symbian mobile operating systems, Microsoft OS in high-end devices (like the PDA in the comments), and Symbian in mid-range ones.

The other big news this week was earnings. Several industry companies released their earnings, and news was generally pretty positive. Motorola beat expectations, as did Intel, and Sony Ericsson turned its first quarterly profit. Nokia struggled a bit, as declining handset prices and a weak dollar held down profits even as sales volumes grew.

Elsewhere on the site, Howard Rheingold takes a look at RFID tags and their future implications, and Justin Hall shows off his vacation pictures -- of mobiles in Japan.