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Apple's Spectre Looms Large at MWC 2011

Feb 15 2011, 5:39am CST | by , in Rumors | MWC

Apple's Spectre Looms Large at MWC 2011
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The iPhone Nano > Every Tablet Here, Apparently

"Did you hear the new iPhone rumor?"

"Apple might actually make an iPhone nano, have you heard?"

"There's a 'free' iPhone coming! Android is screwed!"

Over the last two days I've heard all these lines- and many more, from press and exhibitors at the Mobile World Congress. There are tablets out the wazoo here and more smartphones than you can shake a stick at. Sony Ericsson, HTC, Acer, LG, Samsung- all the biggest names in the industry are here. Yet most of the buzz on the Internet today is, once again, focused around Apple.

If you'll recall, something similar happened last year with the iPad. It seems that Apple has a standing strategy of pushing out rumors just in time to siphon buzz away from major industry events. This is the PR equivalent of a slant-drilling operation. Apple is drinking everybody's milkshake.

Today, the talk swirls around rumors of a free iPhone, possibly the iPhone nano. Despite an utter lack of evidence, people are following this phantom with more interest than they have for, say, the Optimus 3D. Which says something about our industry.

Mobile technology is advancing at an almost unbelievable pace. A few weeks ago, dual-core Tegra 2 processors were the latest and greatest. But now talk of quad-core processors makes them seem dinky and old. The Nexus S was the best phone on earth two months ago...and now it's just another single-core phone lagging a few feet behind the cutting edge.

Not that there isn't reason to be concerned about the potential impact of a subsidized iPhone. The consensus around here seems to be that Android has an enormous amount to fear from such a product. Low-to-mid-range devices have provided much of the fuel for the operating system's explosive growth. But if consumers have the option of a "free" iPhone or a "free" Android phone...

Well, you don't need to be an industry analyst to know how that will shake out. It's looking like Motorola was right to anticipate trouble this quarter. Even with the rest of the industry catching up, Apple still has a commanding lead in public interest. And they will until someone (Samsung?) beats them to the Next Big Thing.

More MWC 2011 News.

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