For me, day 2 was all about the Chinese manufacturers.
HTC and Huawei both introduced significant numbers of phones and tablets that show how strong they are right now. They’re both majoring on Android at the moment, but HTC also runs a Windows Phone stream too. Their booths are massive and the amount of ‘stuff’ they do is amazing… not just devices but also (in Huawei’s case) all the infrastructure to run an entire network. In HTC’s case Jon French (HTC UK & Ireland Executive Director) highlighted the involvement of Mark Zuckerberg in the launch event of their new ‘Facebook enabled’ devices as a sign of the firm’s scale and influence.
However, ZTE is the firm that has most surprised me. Having previously considered them as ‘low cost’ producers of things networks typically white-label (such as the Orange San Francisco in the UK), their stand is covered in tablets and devices of all specs and network-types. They’re also showing gaming, network management and IPTV solutions that have been deployed in China to user-bases of millions. One of their scrolling presentations caught my eye:
Previously the Korean firms (such as Samsung / LG) looked like the challengers for the established brands… not now.
In Other News
An HP event also provided an opportunity to spend some time with the HP Touchpad, Pre3 and Veer – nice looking devices showing their 2d gen maturity now, but I wonder if they’ll generate enough interest to sustain the ecosystem needed long-term. HP’s pushing them hard though and the usability refinements are pretty nice. One to watch… Oh and they get really upset when commentators forget to list WebOS in the (now everywhere) ’3 platforms’ list: iOS, Android and Windows Phone.