We've barely unpacked our bags from GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, and we're on the road again to Las Vegas for CTIA Wireless, the U.S. trade show and conference held every spring where the biggest and most influential players in the U.S. mobile market gather.
While there will be some cell phones announced at this year's show, most of the excitement will center on software applications and the virtual storefronts that are popping up to distribute these new applications. Since the success of Apple's App Store, which provides easy access to third-party applications for iPhones, other companies have jumped on the bandwagon announcing their own application stores.
Everyone from Google to Microsoft to Nokia to Research In Motion has announced plans for a new application store. And at this year's CTIA, some of these new app stores will come to life. RIM is expected to announce that its BlackBerry AppWorld is open for business, and Microsoft will start showing off its Marketplace for the first time.
But application markets aren't the only thing that will be talked about. Carriers like Verizon and Clearwire will also be touting faster broadband wireless networks that will help make these applications a reality. And of course handset makers will be showing off new products, some of which have already been announced, such as the Palm Pre.
But this year's spring CTIA Wireless show will likely be smaller than in years past. The economic downturn has taken its toll on the mobile market. Even Nokia, the world's largest and strongest maker of cell phones, has slashed expectations for 2009. And the company has already begun laying off employees and closing facilities to cut costs.… Read more