Devices Operators Opinion

A competing Apple press event during MWC week would annoy a lot of people

Have a read of this text from The Telegraph — Matt has picked up the various iPhone 5 rumours flying around. The Mobile World Congress mention caught my attention:

When users will find out for certain is also subject to debate; a March launch has been suggested for the iPhone by a number of blogs, who have also suggested it for the iPad 3. Hexus, however, has claimed that Apple could make a rare announcement at February’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

via Apple’s larger iPhone 5 ‘coming in March’ – Telegraph.

Generally speaking — and famously — Apple never bother with conferences unless it’s got “Mac” or “Apple” written on it.

I don’t see them breaking the habit and exhibiting at MWC any time soon.

However, I do think that it would be very, very smart if Apple made an announcement either the week before or during Mobile World Congress — especially if it was iPhone-related.

Apple already did this to an extent with CES — however, the iPhone and the mobile industry are a seriously different kettle of fish.

If Apple really wanted to upset the existing world order (and the millions upon millions of Euros being invested during Mobile World Congress), they should call a “Let’s talk about iPhone” press conference for the first Monday of MWC-week.

Goodness me.

Can you imagine?

Just speculating brings me out in goosebumps.

The world’s consumer media (mainstream and bloggers) will be flying into Barcelona on Sunday evening to record their “here’s a new Android” segment for 30 minutes on Monday morning, before flying out same-day. [Of course, the trade media will be there for the duration].

Can you imagine the shock if Apple made the media choose? Either you cover our keynote about the new iPhone in San Francisco. Or you go to that also-ran in Barcelona.

To be clear, I’m certainly not labelling MWC thus! That was me putting fighting words in Apple’s mouth.

Sparks would fly though.

And there’d be no choice. The media would flock to San Francisco. The anchors, the editors, the pundits — they’d all be in California and MWC would either be ignored or

The ramifications for the industry would be profound. Of course the mobile industry now exists in Apple’s shadow. But not officially. Not, really. And certainly not at MWC. In Barcelona, the operators can freely strut their stuff and the other platforms can have a bit of time in the media sun. Apple is always in the back of everyone’s mind at MWC, but it’s possible to suspend reality for at least a few minutes.

And it’s in this limited reality that the rest of the industry gets to pretend that it’s still relevant, that things are still the same as they were pre-iPhone. That nothing has really changed.

Look at the keynotes at MWC over the last few years since the iPhone’s announcement. iPhone and Apple has been largely irrelevant — the industry’s still under the impression it’s in control.

A serious tub-thumping press conference from Apple timed to remove all attention from MWC would illustrate the new world order nicely.

I’m a fan of this kind of hard ball because it’s one of the only measures that might prompt the rest of the mobile marketplace — the operators in particular — to actually get off their arses and start innovating properly.


Perhaps Apple will be too polite and give-way.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

6 replies on “A competing Apple press event during MWC week would annoy a lot of people”

Not going to happen. Nothing iPhone-related until iOS 6 at WWDC in June (except for the occasional launch in a new country). iPad perhaps, but not holding my breath on that specific week.

It would piss off a lot of industry people including people in Apple’s value chain like operators, chipset vendors and software vendors. Apple doesn’t need to do something like this to command undivided attention.

If Apple wanted to do this then they would need to go the whole hog and announce that they are setting up their own mobile network, not a virtual one, but the real deal, masts and everything, in something like 35 countries worldwide by the end of 2012. Then rolling out to say another 20 by the end of 2014 and that a year from now all the latest iDevices would have a 6 month “exclusive to Apple Mobile” period. Otherwise they’ll push themselves even further to the edge of the mobile spectrum. The operators already seem to be in a deep “love hate” relationship with them. Google have that infamous quote from the late Mr. Jobs driving them on. Nokia want their crown back and RIM just want to keep on going. Unless they delivered the killer head shot then anything else would be a case of “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” for the rest of the mobile industry. Apple maybe able to fight it’s corner in any number of one on one battles, but a concentrated multi front war, waged for the very continuation of life in the mobile industry, by a very angry united front of handset manufacturers, software giants and mobile network operators? They wouldn’t stand a chance. 

Of course even I could see that the customer would be the ultimate winner in all of this, but it would surely get very messy along the way!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.