Scenes from Mobile World Congress 2009

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Scenes from Mobile World Congress 2009

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Going Mobile

Security is tight at the main entrance gates, with scannable passes and photo ID required for entry. Nearly 50,000 attendees are expected this year, although the economic downturn may reduce the number.

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The Magic of Googles Android

Vodafone's announcement that it will be the exclusive operator for the HTC Magic smartphone, which runs on Google's Android mobile OS, caused a big stir, as you can see from the smudged floor model everyone just had to touch.

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A Place in the Sun

LG Electronics' solar-powered handset was one of many green technologies on display, and certainly fit well into LG's lineup of advanced, if not terribly practical, products.

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Staging the Future

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega and moderator Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal trade opinions at the keynote seminar, "Sustaining Growth in Challenging Times."

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A Break with the Past

Huge video screens, provided by Hewlett-Packard, broadcast interviews with vendors, while the historic Palau Nacional, now housing the National Art Museum of Catalonia, looms majestically in the background.

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Visible Progress

LG's apparent obsession with self-aggrandizing "firsts" continued with the world's first "transparent phone," which sports a see-through sliding keypad. Despite a bombastic press release, most people saw right through it.

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Two Words: Universal Chargers

GSMA CEO Rob Conway had a lot of announcements to make during his keynote speech, but only caused applause with the news that a deal had been brokered to create a universal charger for handsets. Thank. God.

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DoCoMo Gets Colorful

Handsets come in every color of the rainbow these days, but Japanese handset maker NTT DoCoMo had a particularly beguiling display.

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LG and Prada: Is Anybody Really Surprised?

Coming out with a 3G phone that fits around your wrist wasn't enough for LG, so it teamed with fashion house Prada (again) to offer a Bluetooth-enabled Link watch that sells for $1,976.

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Inside the Spectacle

Vendors from across the world jammed into multiple halls to showcase their latest technology. Hall 8, the largest, boasted such vendors as Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Panasonic and Samsung-along with banners, neon signs and that evergreen convention staple, free pens.

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Which Wristphone to Wear?

Samsung wasn't about to let LG take all the credit for a phone that fits on your wrist-Samsung lined up five different models to view, all safely locked away in a Plexiglas display.