Matchbox Mobile at Mobile World Congress 2013

We were pleased to join tens of thousands of telecoms professionals on our 6th annual pilgrimage to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2013.

Every MWC attendee has two basic needs: how to find your next meeting, and where to find the best lunch. Multiply that by 72,000 attendees at #MWC2013 – this was a record-breaking attendance – throw them all into a new venue and you can picture the bustle and excitement.

Our first priority was to find good coffee. We found the much sought-after Daisy Rollo serving the very best of the black stuff at the Spirent stand in Hall 6. Following a busy first day of meetings we spent Monday evening with our friends and partners from Buddy, at Carmelita’s, a Matchbox favourite just off Las Ramblas. Buddy – who provide a set of mobile APIs for Windows Phone and all major phone platforms – had just been announced as a Microsoft partner, so we were only too happy to toast their success.

Tuesday’s highlights included a Barcelona vs. Real Madrid clash, courtesy of Amazon, and a Nokia party at the Sotavento beach club, where we joined our friends from Bing to reflect on an illuminating day in the mobile sphere.

Despite no major announcements at MWC, we saw Mozilla and Tizen getting plenty of buzz. Whereas Samsung went for size and visibility with an enormous stand, Nokia’s presence was very much about showing the love for mobile developers, with plenty of space to break out on beanbags and enjoy the free refreshments.

Mobile payments, connected cars, and machine-to-machine (M2M) were three hot topics, with many competing and complementary ideas and systems jostling for attention. The importance of the mobile cloud for app developers was made clear by the volume of mobile cloud services on offer.

MWC 2013 certainly reflected a change in industry mood and a more positive outlook. Whereas recent years saw a hard-nosed attitude towards value for money and the limits of engineering possibilities, this year was different: marketing and advertising directors, people from outside the traditional R&D or tech departments, are flooding in with new ideas and enthusiasm. This is a promising sign that we will see more innovation and exciting mobile projects this year. And we take some comfort that the “mobile web versus native app” debate has survived another year and looks healthier than ever.

Read the full Alphalabs article here