A day after the opening of the world’s largest wireless industry show, from the organization so big it runs CTIA ads on CNN, even the gadget blogs are calling the 2010 show so-so.
But be careful. Googling “Gizmodo CTIA” will get you links to awesome displays on the Las Vegas show floor that turn out to be from last year. Same for Engadget.
Here are the high points from this year’s CTIA.
(One more thing: I’ve been trained by the PR industry not to ask what CTIA stands for unless I want to interview its founder and/or CEO, but you can read about CTIA on Wikipedia.
CTIA isn’t a consumer-gadget show like the Consumer Electronics Show or Mobile World Congress. It’s where corporate CIO’s go to hang out with their sales rep from Alcatel-Lucent.
CTIA wants you to think of CTIA as The Wireless Association. Cheap advice for CTIA: The longest word in your name is “association.” It should be “wireless.” On the Internet, saying association makes bloggers think of the Associated Press, which they hate for not hiring them.)
“Introducing America’s first 4G phone” — Sprint, who’ve promised to start selling the HTC Evo 4G, pictured above, this summer. Summer probably means September 21, by which time we’ll be sick of Sprint’s pop-up ads all over the Internet. I swear one just popped up in my WordPress window.
Sprint has teaser ads for 4G on TV. The ads make me feel like 4G would do a lot for me. But on the show floor in Las Vegas, Sprint’s 4G phone is on display behind glass in booth 1054. You can’t try it. There’s a sign that says “Experience 4G,” but you can’t actually experience 4G on an Evo at CTIA. No wonder the pro journalists have already flown out.
“Verizon’s LTE 4G Expansion Plans: One-Third of Americans Covered This Year” — Engadget. Further proof that this year’s CTIA theme is “4G: Coming Soon.”
“Brew MP Ecosystem Sees Continued Proliferation of Devices, New Network Operators and Growing Participation in Qualcomm’s 3Pre Software Pre-Load Program” — Qualcomm press release. VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi says the momentum around Brew is important to entrepreneurs looking for business opportunities.
“Nokia’s latest attempt to regain its footing in America is the T-Mobile Nokia 5230 Nuron, an affordable touchscreen model T-Mobile will sell for $69.99 with a two-year plan. Nokia calls it ‘a smartphone for the masses.’” That was me on VentureBeat, three weeks ago.
We didn’t send anyone to CTIA this year. Too bad, because the hottest way to sell new features like 4G is to wrap them in a new phone. And you really need to handle a phone to know if it’s a winner or not. I’m sure Nokia expected me to show up and test the Nuron. Here’s to outsourcing: Go to booth 2536 to test-drive the Nuron. Post your comments below or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Yes, I know Apple didn’t let the masses handle an iPhone on the day Steve Jobs unveiled it. But they wisely gave New York Times gadget guy David Pogue an hour with the thing. Pogue’s writeup basically said: Awesome phone, iffy keyboard. Shouldn’t it take me less than an hour to stop making typos? This is why gadget companies hate reviewers.)