Friday, February 8, 2008

Finighan: 'iPhone killers' to die for

LONDON, England (CNN) -- I can hardly contain my excitement. I'm like a child counting the days until a birthday. It's Friday as I write and I don't head to the airport until Sunday, but I'm already packed. For me to be so organized ahead of a trip is highly unusual to say the least.

A customer watches a demonstration of an iPhone at an Apple Store.

And what's causing such anticipation? Well, you can call me sad but I love gadgets, gizmos and all things hi-tech. Starting Sunday I get to live, eat, sleep and breathe cellphones for a whole week at the event formerly known as 3GSM in Barcelona. Talk about a busman's holiday!

I say "formerly known as" because organisers realise that mobile technology has moved way beyond traditional 3G and GSM and have decreed that their annual event from now on shall be known as the "World Mobile Congress."

Like any self respecting gadget geek, er, sorry, technology journalist, I'm keen as mustard to get my hands on the so called "iPhone killers," the new handsets that will become this year's "most wanted," to play with the new designs and marvel at just how much hi-tech wizardry can be crammed into such a sleek, desirable box.

But I'm also keen to hear how the mobile industry views its future in these unprecedented times. How open source software like Google's "Android," a form of mobile Linux, will impact the way in which we all use our mobiles. About innovations like mobile WiMax and Femtocell. About video and remotely hosted business applications.

And I'm especially keen to learn about how the iPhone has forced a change in the relationship between manufacturers and carriers to the benefit of us consumers.

And if all that was complete gobbledygook to you, look out for my daily reports from Barcelona when I'll explain all. It's going to be a really exciting week and you too can be a part of it thanks to CNN.

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