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February 28th, 2013
02:17 PM ET

Making a call on what’s next in mobile

Inevitably, I met a booth babe with a t-shirt that read, “Call Me Maybe.”

I’m at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona - home of fine food, football and phones with the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year.

Why am I here? Our world is changing fast. We are at a critical inflection point as desktop computing shifts to mobile, and smart mobile devices become more and more ubiquitous. We are ushering in a new digital era where everyone will be on the move and always connected.

The change is happening so fast, blink and you may miss it. It’s already challenging the authority of established computing giants like Microsoft and pre-smartphone era stalwarts like Nokia.

Chinese tech firms Huawei and ZTE are chipping away at the authority of BlackBerry. Open-source operating systems are emerging as players in the race for mobile OS supremacy. Messaging apps like WhatsApp are stealing revenues away from network providers.

So I’m here to determine what’s happening and try to anticipate what’s next before reality slams me in the face.

So, here goes. These are the three top emerging mobile trends I’ve picked up here in Barcelona:

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February 28th, 2013
08:25 AM ET

Day 3 at MWC

Most top tech brand showcase their latest products at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Of course, one big name is missing. Apple never attends shows like this.

And it feels like other companies are starting to follow suit.

The Verge's David Pierce says it feels like Samsung is starting to pull away. He notes that the Galaxy S4 will come out in two weeks in New York, though it did announce the Galaxy Note 8 in Barcelona. HTC unveiled its flagship phone last week. Google executives are in attendance, but the company does not have booth and announced its new Chromebook last week. And Pierce feels Nokia fell flat, failing to announce anything big.

So is the Mobile World Congress going the way of Las Vegas's Consumer Electronics Show?

Pierce says, ""There's a lot here but it seems like a show like this, and even CES, they're becoming traditional trade shows again where it's industry people coming to getting to know each other and make deals. There's a putting green upstairs just for making deals. It seems like, in a sense of big consumer show where we see the really exciting stuff, it's starting to slow or at least lull."

And there are many movers-and-shakers at MWC. Check out our Day 3 highlights below:

Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley

PayPal President David Marcus

BlackBerry's Vivek Bhardwaj, the man behind BB10 OS

Plus, a fun look at how FC Barcelona reaches its fans through apps!