We were told to expect them. Over the last few weeks the Web has been awash with speculation that many handset makers would unveil competitors to the G1, the first mobile phone to operate on Google's Android system, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona recently.
The phone manufacturers helped maintain the suspense, coyly declining to say whether they would unveil such a device at the show.
So it's fair to say that MWC 2009 was a disappointment on the Android front.
The Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and LG news conferences are now behind us and there wasn't a whiff of an Android phone from them.
HTC, the maker of the first G1 phone, also failed to unveil a successor at its presser.
As has been the case recently, however, a Chinese firm has stepped up to fill the vacuum. Huawei Technologies showcased its first Android-powered smart phone, which it said will hit the shelves in the third quarter of the year.
THE VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL ... ON A WATCH PHONE
Every year the top PR executives of the main telecom players must sit around in the autumn and try to think of ways to spice up their news conferences at MWC.
The brainstorming must have been particularly difficult this time around because frugal times call mean bubbly, canapes and flashy gifts are out of question to try to lure reporters to announcements.
Of course some of the big boys don't need much other than their top exec on stage. The fear of missing a big launch from them is strong enough to ensure a packed house even on slim news. That was the case for Microsoft, which served Steve Ballmer at a news conference for the first time in Barcelona, and Nokia.
But sometimes you need to be more inventive. And if you don't have a highly charismatic, well known exec of your own, you can always invite one.
That's what LG did, albeit with a twist, as it made Ballmer appear on a conference call conducted from a watch phone. No matter that the picture was blurry and the message unintelligible, at least there was a recognizable face on screen.
WE ARE GREEN, CAN'T YOU TELL?
Oh and yes, the industry tried to milk the green theme again.
The winner in that category was Nokia, which, although it didn't have any particular announcement related to its environmental efforts, managed to make it a top theme of Chief Executive Olli Pekka Kallasvuo's presentation at a time when all anyone cares about in the industry, really, is the economic climate.
"Being green should be about more than creating on-off green devices and features," Kallasvuo said.
In fact Nokia has recycling capabilities in 85 countries and has just released its most-energy efficient charger, he told us.
Good for them, but in the meantime, the recycled phone announced last year doesn't appear to gaining much traction.
Could it be that the news Samsung is planning an eco-friendly phone called the Blue Earth has tickled the Finnish champion?
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Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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