From the Editor's Desk: Welcome to #MWC14 and Hello from Barcelona!

By Kevin Michaluk on 23 Feb 2014 09:54 am EST

It's been FOUR years since I've personally attended Mobile World Congress, but I made the voyage this year and am now writing to you from Barcelona, Spain. I'm not alone for the trip. Also joining me from the Mobile Nations team are Daniel Rubino, Phil Nickinson, Alex Dobie, Richard Devine and Andrew Martonik (for info on where to follow us, INCLUDING BBM CHANNELS, click here). And be sure to watch the video above for my official hello and welcome!

While BlackBerry won't have a big booth setup on the tradeshow floor this year, the company still has a lot of people on the ground and we do expect to see some announcements. Tuesday morning (Barcelona local time) BlackBerry is holding a breakfast for select members of the media. I think we can safely expect to see any press releases coming from BlackBerry to cross the wire around that time.

Assuming I have the connectivity I'm planning to live blog it, so be sure to tune in. I also have a handful of meetings scheduled through the week, so I'll be following up with written interviews on those as just as fast as I can. Be sure to visit our MWC hub at for all the posts coming out of the show.

As for what to expect? Well, you'll just have to stay tuned to find out. I definitely think we'll hear a lot about BlackBerry in enterprise, but you know me... my fingers are always crossed for new devices to play with (Z3, anyone?!). 

Visit our Mobile World Congress super page!

Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Welcome to #MWC14 and Hello from Barcelona!


Blah, he not even knew they played today against Sweden. he is busy taking care pickpockets ^^

Congrats Gold Medal, Canada. Solid Game.

Yea saw a show called, scam city about the pickpocket capital, Barcelona. If you get drunk make sure to keep your wallet in your Front jeans pocket.

Posted via CB10

I've been to Barcelona many times and never had any problem with pickpocketing. Surely it's no worse than any other city!

Posted via CB10

I would have detoured flight plans to Sochi...congrats to my Canadien ancestors/neighbors/relatives for an excellent Winter Olympic Games...and the Hockey Gold.

Team Canada made Big Ice look smaller and smaller every game.

And Go Blue...Big Ten sweep of MSU, yeah!!!

Peugeot 505 STI» Peugeot 405 Mi16» Honda S2000»...Chevrolet Corvette C7

Sid's unassisted breakaway goal was sweet, Kunitz' goal was a beauty-eh, and Martin St. Louis was all over the ice.

I missed the Toews goal but watching the replay now...along with Daytona 500...might miss it again.

OK, OK...Canada you still own hockey.

Peugeot 505 STI» Peugeot 405 Mi16» Honda S2000»...Chevrolet Corvette C7

A real shame Sweden went without their three best players. It could have been an epic game. It was a great effort though. Great to see the heart and willingness to sacrifice the body from Swedish players blocking shots all over the place, but they just didn't have a solution for Canada's aggressive for-check.

Posted via CB10

Go to yesterday's blog when quite a few of us asked why no channels support at Mobile World. Kevin posted a comment.

Catapulted from my Z10.

@OJ...when you go to the link at the bottom of the article,..Visit our World Congress Super Page...I can't see any love for Channels..Oh well..And by btw that really is a Super Page,Good Job!!!

The super link takes it back to the Crackberry site.
Guess at least I'll be able to read up on it through Crackberry.

I will also check the Channels, but at least I don't have to follow it on strippagran, Twitter, flicker or any other mother f####r, or even googly +.

I may not get live updates like on twitter, but as long as us BlackBerry Pirates get some news. :)

Catapulted from my Z10.

Personally, I was more concerned that many folk believed Crackberry's channel would *not* be a actively engaged during such an event!

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

Give them time to grow into it, and join the other Mobile Nations Channels as a gesture, how about that?

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

They do. Work. With a workaround. Still haven't found where to simply enter a Channel PIN In BBM to preview and join in a simple way. Anyone more info on that? BB help on the website sheds no light on that.

The Channel PINs are not tappable in the BB10 browser nor show up when using the search box in BBM (entering the PIN in the search box will yield no result, just words and names will). Hope that gets addressed. Guys, let the BBM team know.


Android Central - C0020FBEA
CrackBerry - C00012B19
iMore - C001515A0
WPCentral - C0048A83E
Smartwatch Fans - C00476F97

Paste that into an SMS and send it to yourself or a friend, and suddenly the Channel PINs become clickable / tappable.

Did I miss something?

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Awesome Prem, just followed your instructions and it worked, thanks for that. Yeah BlackBerry needs to sort this out. Looking at some of the comments from others, they seem to be in the same situation, can't find the Channels.

Thanks Prem
By the way, I've joined all of them and now it's down to them to keep to do the rest.

Posted by the Crackberry Pirate


You could even post it into the CB app when replying. It will turn blue and becomes tappable. As soon as you hit "Post", it becomes unusable again.

The clue can be found in the following line on this BB help site:

"Tip: If you copy the channel PIN into another app, people with BBM can preview or join the channel"

@ BBM team: Please get us a bit more of an elegant way, this is a kludge of a hack! ;-)


(Not a fan of those mini-hacks. How is Joe Doe gonna work this? He's just gonna abandon it.)

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Saw it. Also posted to Requested Features thread in the Channels subforum

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Hey Kevin,please don't make us wait forever ,once your time with John Chen is done,I remember your last interview with him,I think it took a couple of days to forward it on to us.

I really do hope some great stuff comes out from BlackBerry.

Hope also Kevin grabs some great stories. They are always great, podcast / reading

Catapulted from my Z10.

@OJ...don't they have real bulls there??maybe CES was just a practice run for Kev and he might show off on the real deal.Pay back time for all that Android crap he's been shoving down our throats.I'm rooting for the Bull because I'm getting used to it.HAHAHA

How is octa core standard now....there is no true octo core flagship phone out there now....qualcomm hasn't even released a octa-core chip only mediatek has done so....

Posted via CB10

WELCOME to Barcelona! so glad you're enjoying the stay... I hope your (our) dreams come true and you put your fingers on the Z3 !!!

I'm not blacklisted by the Interpol, but better if I don't see Michael walking down the street with a Z3 on his hands.... hahaha just kidding

Wear sunnies if you want to cover your eyes when shooting an avatar. Makes it look less of a mugshot!

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

that's the point! he carries a lot of weigh, I can give him a hand hahaha... seriously, I wish they had a lovely stay and lots of good new to share with us in this week!

If he loses his phone with CB admin access, expect lots of random spam here! Hope the picture password holds and lock time is set to a minimum.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Lol! Is he supposed to answer this question. I guess it's now truly the "the internet of things".

The only channel I get is the CrackBerry site, the other channels don't seem to work with the pins or the actual names of the channels. Any one else having this issue?

Posted via CB10

Yep. Same issue.

And some moron used the Crackberry channel pin # as his channel name.

Posted via CB10

I still cannot find the BBM Channel for Android Central, iMore, etc. Did they not get put up after all? Are just the wrong pins up?

Posted via CB10

Kevin, at this meeting please get a feel whether BB is making an effort to bring back smart phone sales through a renewed marketing program.
Or, are they focusing on other businesses, for example, enhanced Enterprise service?

Now BB phone sales are dropping below the radar. While CB has shown several new hardware innovations, is BB just making these available as a 'show' or as viable products for sales?

Kevin, if they show off the Z3, ask how much the price will be for it. Let's pray its $150

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

From Barcelona, Bloomberg news
Microsoft is accelerating its push into mobile software, adding new hardware manufacturers and joining forces with chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. to develop cheaper smartphones aimed at markets such as China.

Microsoft and Qualcomm are working on a low-cost phone design that developers and handset makers can use to build their own devices, Joe Belfiore, a Microsoft vice president, said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today. New partners to make Windows smartphones include China’s Lenovo Group Ltd.

Trailing Apple Inc. and Google Inc in higher-end devices, Microsoft is now trying to build market share for its Windows operating system from the bottom up. Cheaper smartphones mean consumers in less-developed countries will have a chance to use the Internet for the first time, a fast-growing market that’s also attracting rivals such as Google, maker of the Android operating system.

“Microsoft can be more healthy by widening our ecosystem,” Belfiore said in an interview. “We care a ton about emerging markets.”

Microsoft and Qualcomm are designing a basic core of a phone with the necessary processors and wireless chips that developers can start with as they design Windows phones for emerging markets. Microsoft also plans to update its Windows 8.1 software and Windows Phone software this spring, helping it target lower-priced devices, Belfiore said.

Nadella’s Challenge

Microsoft’s push to broaden the reach of its mobile ecosystem comes as Satya Nadella takes over as chief executive officer from Steve Ballmer and the Redmond, Washington-based company prepares to complete the $7.2 billion takeover of Nokia Oyj handset business. Nokia is planning to announce an expansion into lower-end Android smartphones at the Mobile World Congress, people familiar with the matter said this month.

Microsoft’s effort to get more handset makers to offer Windows phones has so far failed to shake the dominance of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, which account for 96 percent of the smartphone market. Of the more than 1 billion smartphones shipped in 2013, only 3.3 percent ran Windows, according to market-research firm IDC. Eighty-nine percent of the Windows phones sold were made by Nokia, said IDC.

Microsoft said today nine manufacturers, including Lenovo, ZTE Corp. and LG Electronics Inc., plan to add Windows Phone devices to their offering. Samsung Electronics Co. , HTC Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co. also make Windows phones.

Global Internet

This is only the latest attempt by Microsoft to spread Windows to more corners of the world. Last year, operating systems chief Terry Myerson floated the idea of free or low-cost Windows software to smartphone makers like HTC, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

The last revolution in mobile communications happened when the smartphone was born more than a decade ago, and the explosion of cheaper Internet-enabled smartphones for developing markets will be the next milestone, said Yves Maitre, head of devices at Orange SA, the French wireless carrier which has expanded into markets such as Egypt, Poland and Kenya.

At the Mobile World Congress, other companies are also announcing lower-end devices. Mozilla Corp., developer of the Firefox browser, unveiled a $25 phone prototype.

“The story of Internet-for-everyone will be written at MWC this year,” Maitre said.

Nokia’s Android

Nokia, whose mobile-phone business will soon be part of Microsoft, has used Windows in higher-end smartphones since 2011, while relying on its own software in cheaper phones aimed at emerging markets. The company has lost share in the low end as Android smartphones costing $100 or less have gained users.

When asked about Nokia’s plan to add Android devices, Belfiore said there are things with Nokia that Microsoft is excited about and things it isn’t. He declined to comment further.

Microsoft isn’t planning to build a long-term strategy around Android devices, a person familiar with the matter said this month. Rather it may be planning to use the Nokia Android phones to bolster its sales in the lower end until it can produce Windows phones for that market segment, the person said.

Microsoft agreed to buy Nokia’s handset business in September. The companies have said they expect to complete the deal this quarter.

Posted by the Crackberry Pirate

News from Barcelona, report from Bloomberg

Mozilla, Spreadtrum Introduce $25 Firefox Phone in Barcelona

By Scott Moritz - Feb 23, 2014 5:07:12 PM
Mozilla Corp., developer of the Firefox browser and operating system, said it has cracked the smartphone price barrier with the help of Spreadtrum Communications Inc., unveiling a $25 prototype.

Jay Sullivan, Mozilla’s chief operating officer, introduced the ultra-cheap “reference device,” made with low-cost wireless components in partnership with chipmaker Spreadtrum, at a press event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today.

In keeping with the theme of cheaper phones for developing markets at the the wireless industry’s largest annual conference, Sullivan said a feature-filled low-cost phone is the ideal first smartphone for many people who haven’t been able to afford other models. Mozilla plans to add 12 markets in Asia, Latin America and Africa this year to the 15 markets it entered by the end of last year, he said.

“We are about bringing people online,” Sullivan said during the introduction.

At the same event a year ago, 18 wireless carriers, including Deutsche Telekom AG Sprint Corp. and Telefonica SA , supported the development of an open mobile operating system by Mozilla to build out a range of cheaper smartphones. They’re trying to reduce their reliance on Google Inc.’s Android, which dominates the smartphone market.

Posted by the Crackberry Pirate

Ah yes, the ol' "I can neither confirm or deny that I know information that I'm not at liberty to discuss" statement. Basically meaning that he does know information and we'd better tune in to hear it announced officially.

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10! 

Android Central - C0020FBEA
CrackBerry - C00012B19
iMore - C001515A0
WPCentral - C0048A83E

Really strange why can not search after channels with PIN, not even search after names.

Basic functions not working ,hmm

Z10_STL100-2_10.2.1. 2141/2142

Lots of questions we're looking forward to getting answers to:
- How much money will Kevin waste on "Status" apps
- How many times will Kevin get mugged?
- How good are those Spanish beer goggles?
- How much corporate data will get stolen every day?