CTIA is next week in Orlando, FL, and I've been sorting through a deluge of emails and phone calls from PR types in preparation to cover the show. While you're watching NCAA March Madness games on Sunday, I'll be on a plane headed across the country in time for the Smartphone Summit and Sprint media event Monday.
The show kicks off Tuesday, so be sure to check out my coverage of CTIA right here on PhoneDog all week long. By way of a preview, here are a few trends to keep an eye on as America's biggest wireless show unfolds:
-- Mobile Content: As cell phones become more like mini computers capable of browsing the Web and running sophisticated applications, service providers and software developers are looking to leverage "the computer in your pocket" to serve up all sorts of content for your on-the-go consumption. From GPS-enabled applications to streaming media services, all sorts of companies will be unveiling new ways to use your phone.
-- Social Networking: MySpace has been on a few of the major carriers for awhile now. Look for EA Mobile to make a strong push into the mobile multiplayer gaming market, at least one announcement concerning a mobile sports fans' community, and several voices new and familiar talking a lot about "Mobile Web 2.0" and "User Generated Content." Much as the Web has turned from a read-only environment to the land of user-created blogs and videos, executives and developers are chomping at the bit to turn your handset into a portable publishing portal.
-- Multimedia Phones: Sprint and Samsung are throwing a pre-show press event, media-only breakfast, and weeknight party at the Hard Rock Orlando. Though they haven't officially said, the hype is all but certain to surround the launch of the Ultra Music Phone, aka F300. I caught a glimpse of Samsung's new dual-sided candybar at CES in Las Vegas, which is rumored to be rebadged as the M610 for Sprint while retaining it's unique "this side's a phone, that side's a music player" design. While my invite to the party mentioned a performance by hip-hop and film star Ludacris, word is that Beyonce will be promoting the handset in forthcoming ads.