CTIA Wireless 2012: Day One Round-Up

As the little brother of both CES and MWC, the CTIA Wireless Convention often gets overlooked in the smartphone event calendar. However, with its strong emphasis on spectrum expansion and an increase in the number of manufacturers attending the event, this year looks set to make some headlines within the industry. Here are some of the main stories from day one of the New Orleans-based conference:

ZTE

Despite being the world’s fourth largest handset vendor, Chinese manufacturer ZTE is a little known entity in the western world. However in an interview with CNET at CTIA Wireless, ZTE’s president of North American business Lixen Cheng stating that the company is seeking to hold 5% of the US market by 2014.

Cheng also suggested that the key to breaking the US market is affordability rather than a specific flagship device, and that a focus on carrier partnerships is also vital. ZTE’s European and UK market expectations were not discussed in the interview, but with brands historically viewing western markets as broadly similar we do expect to see the company gain more of a UK foothold in the coming years.

Toshiba Excite 13

Toshiba has unveiled its latest tablet device, the huge Excite 13. Sporting a gargantuan 13-inch screen, the tablet has sparked a debate over screen sizes with many sources suggesting that the Excite 13 is simply too big and unwieldy to use comfortably.

Aside from that massive display though, the foot-long tablet does have an impressive specification boasting a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 5 megapixel camera and micro HDMI connectivity. The device is due to go on sale in the US on 24 June. A UK release date has yet to be set.

Pandora

In a keynote speech at CTIA Wireless, Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy announced that the US internet radio service had surpassed 150 million users and remains the second most downloaded app in the history of Apple’s App Store.

Kennedy stated that he believes that the success enjoyed is just the beginning” which may mean that Pandora could seek to expand beyond the US market and as such we might see the service returning to our shores at some point in the future.

CTIA Wireless runs until 11 May, so check back for more updates.


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