CTIA Fall 2008 Preview: New Phones, Killer Apps

With so much going on in the tech world this week–new iPods, new Zunes, the DemoFall 08 and TechCrunch50 conferences–one could easily overlook the fact that CTIA Wireless I.T. and Entertainment 2008 is about to kick off. But with heavy hitters like AT&T, BlackBerry, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, Sony Ericsson, and Verizon Wireless, it’s easy to see why this San Francisco-based show is dubbed the world’s largest wireless data event. Starting today we’ll be bringing you the latest news live from San Francisco. So what do we expect to see?

  • New Handsets: With rumors of the supposed clamshell BlackBerry Pearl at a fever pitch and tentative launch dates for the BlackBerry Bold skipping around by the day, we hope to get firm details on both devices from RIM and a in-depth hands on. (We’re not holding our breath for BlackBerry Storm details though.) We also hope to go hands on with the CDMA HTC Touch Diamond, which has already been confirmed for Sprint. But with the keyboard-equipped Touch Pro already rumored to be on the way for both Verizon and Sprint, some may just want to wait it out.
  • Android MIA? You would think that with the launch of Google’s operating system just around the corner and version 1.0 of the software all but final that we would be able to peak a sneak at a device at the show, but we don’t have our hopes up. This may be happening closer to the end of the year.
  • Apps Galore As you can tell from Verizon’s slew of announcements today, the emphasis at this show is on applications and services, as opposed to shiny new devices. (That’s what Spring CTIA is for.) The biggest trends we see will be a continued emphasis on social networking and messaging, as well as location-based appliations and video sharing. Not to mention mashups of all of the above. For example, we have an appointment set up with Whrrl, an app that lets you see where your friends are and share photos and opinions wirelessly. We’ll also be meeting Networks in Motion (behind the VZ Navigator app) and Zumobi (mobile widgets) to see what’s new.

And of course there are plenty of things we can’t share yet. Throughout the show we’ll be bringing you live news, photos, and hands-on videos. And on Friday we’ll announce our Best of CTIA Fall 2008 winners. Stay tuned.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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