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Mobile World Congress - Quad-core smartphones and Ice Cream Sandwich

Four-day show at the end of February is expected to attract 60,000 attendees

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It might be hard to imagine there will be that much more for makers of smartphones, tablets and other wireless offerings to reveal at Mobile World Congress at the end of this month after the deluge of products that debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show to kick off 2012. But Sony, HTC and others have gotten wireless watchers in a frenzy already by issuing MWC event invitations and stirring speculation about Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich', Windows Phone and quad-core devices.

The four-day show, which is expected to attract some 60,000 attendees, will feature keynote addresses by the heads of mobile device companies such as HTC and Nokia, as well as from AT&T, Cisco and Juniper Networks. It will also feature lots and lots of product introductions, technology demos and strategic plans.

Here's a rundown of what we know, or at least what we're hearing and reading about, so far on the product front for MWC:

  • Nvidia issued an invitation to an event celebrating its Tegra 3 quad-core processor, which has already shown up in the Asus Transformer Prime tablet and is expected to find its way into a number of smartphones as well.
  • Sony has issued an event invitation for Feb. 26 that highlights the Android-based Xperia smartphone, the gaming-focused S model of which was introduced at CES.
  • Samsung: One thing we know won't make its breakout at MWC is the Galaxy S3. The company has said the Android-based phone will be rolled out at a separate event by mid-year, though. However, the rumour mill is suggesting that Samsung might introduce at MWC an 11.6-inch edition of its Galaxy Tab tablet computer that boasts a powerful 2GHz processor.
  • HTC has received some pre-MWC buzz due to leaked photos of its anticipated Ville smartphone. Speculation is that the Android 4.0 phone will have a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, Beats Audio for music consumption and a 4.3in super AMOLED display, and that it will be offered on T-Mobile's network. HTC, which was relatively quiet at MWC, is also expected to possibly show off its quad-core, 4.7in screen Edge smartphone in Barcelona.
  • LG is also expected to join the quad-core smartphone party at MWC with its X3 device, according to the Pocketnow website. It says the X3 will boast a Tegra 3 processor, 8mp and 1.3mp cameras, a "capacious" battery, Android 4.0 (a.k.a Ice Cream Sandwich) and a 4.7in screen.
  • Microsoft will ensure that MWC isn't all about Android by setting its Windows 8 Consumer Preview for February 29 in Barcelona (not technically at the show, but in a nearby hotel). There will also be Windows Phones at the show, likely including the LG Miracle (1GHz Snapdragon processor, 8GBB internal storage, NFC support).
  • Nokia has sent the press a vague invitation for February 27 at MWC, but hasn't hinted at what will come. However, the rumour mill has stepped in and assured us that the company has a high-end Windows Phone, possibly a new Lumia design, possibly something completely different, according to Forbes and other sources. Nokia, which has hitched its smartphone future to Microsoft, introduced its first LTE Windows Phone - the Lumia 900 - at CES. 
  • Apple won't be making a splash at the show, but just as CES was filled with many Apple hangers-on displaying their accessories and apps for the iPhone and iPad, thoughts of Apple's anticipated March unveiling of the iPad 3 won't be far from the minds of show goers and exhibitors looking to differentiate their products from Apple's.

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