So I survived another CTIA, this time with my voice and (obligatory liver damage aside) my health intact. I was unsure how well San Diego was going to work out for the show, but I was pleasantly surprised. The Gaslamp District seemed cleaner and nicer than I'd remembered it... with just enough grit to keep it entertaining. While enjoying vodka martinis alfresco at Greystone Steakhouse a friend and I were treated to several rounds of hobo-karate street theater. But, overall I like San Diego better for CTIA than SF (and much better than Orlando)... plus it's drivable from LA. So what did I learn? Uh, not that much frankly... but here are a few morsels that you all might find interesting:
- There was a significant amount of heat around Android, both from a device and content publisher standpoint. That said, publishers continue to have concerns about the lack of carrier-integrated billing.
- Windows Marketplace for Mobile running on Windows Mobile 6.5 looked pretty slick and worked pretty well on the HTC Pure (AT&T). The application catalog is still kinda light, BUT this store does have carrier billing.
- The Motorola CLIQ with Motoblur running on Android was my favorite new handset at the show. I spent a bunch of time with this device and was really impressed with the form factor, user interface and user experience. It looks kinda like an N97, only smaller and lighter. Motoblur is the best execution of desktop widgets that I've ever seen on a mobile device. For Moto's sake I hope that there's no hidden lameness.
- There was a lot of buzz about the departures of respected mobile games industry veterans Greg Ballard and Jill Braff from Glu Mobile and about who their replacements might be. The general consensus is that management and the board have been at odds over the path forward for the publisher.
- The rooftop bar at The Ivy hotel is definitely the best hangout spot in San Diego. But 207 @ the Hard Rock Hotel was the true hub of the show... SD's version of the W Bar in SF. BTW - almost nothing was happening on the actual CTIA show floor.
- Billboard's Mobile Entertainment Live! should be re-named Mobile Entertainment Dead!... the event was a pathetic shadow of its former self.
- Apparently, I need to revise some of my Top 10 Mobile Games Publisher WW numbers down... and if Sony Pictures' claim to mocoNews.net that they are the fifth largest games publisher in terms of downloads is to be believed, then perhaps I need to include them on the list (...but I suspect some more diligence is required).
- I was distressed by how many industry veterans discussed leaving mobile. Many others were re-focusing their mobile efforts on the un-sexiest, most established mobile services (where there's actually some money to be made).
That's all I have for now, if I remember any more as I come out of the post-show fog I'll add it. Did anyone out there see anything mindblasting at the show that I missed?