Sat, Feb 25, 2012 - Page 11 News List

HTC, Asustek to unveil products at mobile show

TRAFFIC JAM?How telecommunications firms deal with mobile traffic growth will be high on the agenda at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

Staff Writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s HTC Corp (宏達電) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) will hold press conferences shortly before the opening of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, to attract the attention of the smart device industry.

HTC, the world’s fourth-largest smartphone maker by volume, has invited media to an event scheduled for tomorrow evening at Cupula Las Arena to “see what’s next,” according to an e-mailed statement. Based in Taoyuan, Taiwan, HTC is expected to launch a quad-core tablet computer, along with two new smartphones powered by Google Inc’s Android 4.0 operating system (OS) and Long Term Evolution (LTE) high-speed broadband technology, said local media reports.

HTC chief executive officer Peter Chou (周永明) will deliver a keynote speech at the congress on Wednesday on “Mobile OS & Applications,” followed by a panel discussion with Nokia Oyj president and CEO Stephen Elop and Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello.

In a separate invitation, Asustek said it would hold a MWC press conference at noon on Monday. The invitation was attached to a picture of its new Padfone — a hybrid device that is a 4.3-inch smartphone and 10.1-inch tablet.

The launch of the Padfone, powered by a quad-core processor from Nvidia Corp. and the latest Android 4.0 OS, was delayed by Asustek until the first quarter of this year, which means that it missed the US Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping holidays.

The MWC, which runs from Monday to Thursday, is scheduled to cover topics such as mobile operator strategies in developed and developing markets, cloud computing, connected consumers, mobile money, mobile OS and applications, and next-generation networks and technologies, the GSM Association (GSMA) said.

Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA comprises nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators and more than 200 companies in the broader mobile “ecosystem” including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organizations.

Steven Hartley, a telecommunications company (TELCO) strategy analyst at research firm Ovum, said the progress made by operators in responding to the increase in mobile data traffic will be interesting to note at this year’s event.

“Operators’ growing realization of their position in the ecosystem means that the watchwords at MWC will be ‘partnership’ and ‘co-operation’ as TELCOs look to minimize the impact that mobile data traffic growth will have on their profitability,” Hartley said in a recent report.

“Although there will be more LTE announcements, we do not expect LTE to be portrayed as the ultimate answer to operators’ problems. Instead, it will be one part of the wider solution,” he said.

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