Late last year, I visited Paris and was introduced for the first time to the Velib system of bicycle hire, with Parisians able to pick up a bike, ride across the city, and deposit it at any of the docking stations spread around the city. Now London is copying the idea.
It was Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross who sang about the best things in life being free, although I doubt they'd have been so chirpy about it if they'd known that within years, millions of people would be merrily downloading their music from Napster.
It was at last year's 3GSM show in Barcelona that we first clapped eyes on Polymer Vision's Readius e-book display. The show's name may have changed to Mobile World Congress, but Polymer Vision was still there this year, showing the latest version of the device, which is now a fully-fledged mobile phone, as we recently reported.
Oh my. If you thought our first crop of stand slogans was the end of it, you were wrong. Over the last couple of days at Mobile World Congress, we shot a few more, just to ensure fairness to all those companies who plastered a crap motto across their stand. Carrying on from Part One...
9. Well, lime green certainly is vibrant.
Remember the big news yesterday about LG's MusicStation Max handset, which they're working on with Omnifone? You know, the one that you buy, sign up to a monthly contract, and then get unlimited music downloads for the duration of your contract? Pretty cool, eh?
Yes, [email protected] really is the name of Philips' upcoming mobile phone. It'll be fun going into Carphone Warehouse asking for that... But the candybar handset does have one innovation - there's a slot for a AAA battery in the bottom.
I have seen the future of mobile TV, and it's a reality show featuring a bunch of models in bikinis fighting it out to become the star of a glamour calendar. Possibly. And if it's not that, it's a sitcom about pasta.
Here's a nugget from my interview with LG's Jeremy Newing that I thought was worth spinning off as a separate story. It seems it'll only be a matter of months before LG releases the next phone in its Black Label series, following the Chocolate and Shine handsets (latter pictured).
After launching the touchscreen-only Viewty and Prada phones, you might think LG is keen to kill off the humble mobile keypad. But it seems consumers have said 'not so fast!' to the company, with the result that LG is now including slide-out keypads into a number of its touchscreen phones.
One of the more exciting things at this year's Mobile World Congress has been the appearance of several Google Android prototype handsets on technology firms' stands. Included among them is Qualcomm, which has this behemoth of circuitry showing an early version of Android.