Day 4: Mobile World Congress 2012

small_ android beam From a geeks perspective day 4 at #MWC2012 has been eye candy of the sweetest and tastiest variety.  It took me a while to make it there, (a Segway would have been useful). The Android Hall was magnetic, stuffed with great examples of what Google, developers & OEM partners are doing with the platform.  From slot machine games controlled by tablets devices, to giant slides it was a veritable playground for the mobile generation.  A key highlight number for me (apart from Google Wallet) was Android Beamer.  This utilises the NFC standard too and allows Android devices to share data via NFC by putting them back to back and touching the screen.  Videos will load on the receiving device at the same point as the sending device, maps and be shared instantly etc… this functionality is built into the latest version of Ice Cream Sandwich Android and developers are already using it, its like Bluetooth but for apps without any of the setup faffing!

You can’t talk about Google and mobile without also talking about Apple right?  I bet you wondered when I was going to mention the Cupertino business… Well they are not here in Barcelona, so I didn’t feel that I needed to go out of my way to mention them.  The bottom line is they are here, on nearly every stand by virtue of the iPad (Apple sold more of these in Q4 2011 than all android device tablets ever).  Strategically you can see why Apple stayed away, on the second day of MWC it announced its iPad3 event which will take place at the same place all previous iPad launches have been.  No need to dwell on this point as plenty of other people will be going into this in more detail.


Probably the most memorable part of today was the start; I attended a seminar hosted by the Shanghai International Film Festival. Two panels ran through the course of the morning and featured people such as:

small_ shanghai film fest china land of oppThis was an ambitious meeting of east and west where two way translations were taking place live, much like a news cast.  A lot of credit needs to be given to the interpreters for their efforts to keep up with some jargon laden conversations. We all sat listening to them with our dual band ear pieces eagerly lapping up the latest stats.  As you would expect in this type of situation there was a lot of potential for things to get lost in translation, if you know me you’ll know I like Peepshow (cringe worthy moments can be funny)… Our Chinese peers certainly talked around (the houses) quite a few topics.  One thing that shocked quite a few people was when Gong Yu (from Chinas equivalent to Youtube) described some of the program formats they had been trialling… He mentioned that user generated content was not really happening in China and that generally pro-commissioned videos dominated.  He went on to describe an educational health program they produced because of perceived health issues in China due to over-working and lifestyle.  He then stated that people in China generally have the impression that soft drinks like Coca-Cola are bad for you (quite weird seeing as the coke guy was sat two seats away).  He went on to say that they were using celebrities to ‘educate’ consumers that it was not.  I don’t think that we will see this kind of thing on the BBC anytime soon!


“All I want to do is put a Coca-Cola in the hand of everybody that has a phone”

Tom Daly, Group Director Global Connections, The Coca-Cola Company,  #MWC2012


Today’s top 3 Apps:

App 1: Google Wallet: This is way more than a mobile app really, if it all goes Google’s way they will become a whole new version of an existing part of the offline value chain.  Speaking to the Google guys on the stand they unashamedly stated that wallet is one of the products getting the most attention within the business and is being pushed to market at full speed.  The reason, it closes the loop between Google’s online advertising portfolio of businesses and what goes on offline.  They see it as a core vehicle which will enable them to ramp annual revenues towards the $100bn mark.  During the demonstration I received I asked the question about their open API philosophy and integrations between things like the Starbucks Loyalty App.  Currently it seems that Wallet can only pass a loyalty card number, and no data is passed back the other way.  It will be interesting to see if bank cards and loyalty card do end up in the wallet or separately within the device and what degree of interoperability they will allow long term.  This will certainly have an impact on affilinet and our ability to also track through to offline conversions in a scalable, client friendly manner.

App 2: HQ Mobile: Definitely something for the snow sports fan this is a brilliant example of when a mobile app interfaces great with an external device.  The device in this case is called MOD Live and Android-powered HUD (Heads Up Display) designed to fit inside specific models of ski glasses.  I tried this rig on and it is seriously comfy and light weight.  If you have the Bluetooth integration setup with your phone, SMS, music playlists and a number of other things can be controlled by a separate shock resistant remote that you wear like a watch!

App 3: Box: Has been around for a while, I am including it here for three reasons, firstly they offer 6 native mobile apps for all the major short tail devices, secondly, some of the promo-material they gave me included some interesting stats.  They are now serving 82% of the top 500 largest companies in the USA, they believe that by using their cloud-based storage & collaboration service a 50 person team can save 200 hours per month, and that this equates to savings of $125,000 USD/yr, the third and final reason, this is shameless… they gave me a code for 50GB’s free storage (you can get 50GB free if you have an LG Android device, but I don’t)


The current video consuming population of China is only 400m people, we still have some way to go, mobile will help us reach more people

GONG Yu, CEO,, #MWC2012 [Translation]


After 4 days the congress is now drawing to an end and lots of people that have been manning the stands are looking forward to few days down time before they catch another plane to their next show…My visit to the Mobile World Congress 2012 has shown me that mobile is already redefining the way people live their lives.  GSMA and the events it runs involve governments and many many multi-national businesses.  Shows like this, the stats and the networking are the ultimate lobbying vehicle which will no doubt long-term drive us towards the utopia of a connected life.  This maybe some peoples idea of a nightmare, the simple truth is, our grand children and their children will not know any different.

From a performance marketing perspective there are a myriad of opportunities.  Sources of App installs can be tracked, offline purchases driven by and online sources can be tracked (and will become more scalable).  As always in the affiliate space we are only limited by our creativity and the self regulation that we put in place.  It’s going to be exciting time ahead!  Please watch out for follow up posts, video contents and other bits and bobs.

See you in the UK soon!

Thanks for reading,


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Paul Brown

Paul Brown has over 7 years in online, 6 of those in affiliate marketing.At affilinet Paul is a Senior Strategy Manager and also the UK office’s Product Champion. Paul has an extremely high level of technical know-how and was responsible for developing our Pay Per Call technology and retargeting solution. He has spoken at several industry events, including ad:tech, Affiliates4U Expo and the IAB Affiliate Forum. Previously Paul was Affiliate Executive at Carphone Warehouse and Affiliate Manager at Alliance and Leicester.
Out if hours Paul is at his happiest drinking wine, eating cheese, travelling the world, playing sport and discovering new music and film.

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