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Hello San Diego! Hello Qualcomm Uplinq 2012!

I’m delighted to have been invited once again to Qualcomm’s annual industry conference, Uplinq.

I’ve written before about Uplinq but I think it’s worth highlighting that the event is quite possibly the most important general mobile development event out there. Yes Google I/O and Apple’s WWDC events do move the market, but when it comes to getting a good view as to what’s moving and what the likely device and developer trends are going to be over the next year or so, Uplinq is brilliant.

The last statistic I read from Google’s Android team was that over 900,000 unique Android devices are being activated every day. (Contrast this with about 300,000 new babies born every day!) Many — if not the majority — of these Android devices will be carrying some kind of Qualcomm technology, whether it’s it’s in the silicon or the software.

This places the company in a key position within the mobile industry. Not for nothing were they mentioned by Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer as as critical partner during last week’s rather unexpected Surface tablet launch. Qualcomm is integral to that device and pretty much most of the leading handset makers. Last year, for example, we saw keynotes from the CEOs of Nokia, HTC and Palm. Even RIM’s logo was shown frequently as a partner.

On stage two years ago we saw virtual monsters battling each other in an augmented reality world driven through mobile phones running Qualcomm’s AR technology. It was impressive, but it was also a little bit ‘proof of concept-ish’. A lot of people I spoke at the event thought it looked cool but weren’t entirely sure about the possibilities. Fast forward to 2011 and last year the AR technology had come on leaps and bounds (as demonstrated with this video I filmed).

Another year and now that technology has been released, honed, upgraded and adopted by tens of thousands of developers for all sorts of uses (see this post about James May’s brilliant app for the London Science Museum).

It’s therefore fascinating to listen and observe at Uplinq. I usually spend the rest of the year quoting examples and statistics from the event. Qualcomm is not just an Android or mobile phone chip company though — their interests are heavily diversified across the communications arena (one of my favourite focuses is m-Health).

I’m looking forward to seeing what the company has to present at this year’s keynote. Their energetic charismatic top man, Paul Jacobs, does a super job of it. (The press conferences, when you’re sitting 5ft away from the chap watching him think and respond in real-time, are some of the most interesting parts of Uplinq for me.)

The conference programme is always nicely considered. I’ve got quite a few items marked on the calendar already. Plus I’m going to be jumping in and out of their Mobile Innovations Showcase to do interviews and to chronicle the technologies that catch my attention.

Standby for a series of videos, tweets and posts.

And if you’ve made it to Uplinq this year, please drop me a note and say hi — let’s meet and have a chat?

As always, I’m ewan@mobileindustryreview.com.

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.

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