Standing there at the HTC booth at Mobile World Congress 2011 several minutes after they’d had a press conference in a different place entirely with the rest of my teammates, I came to see a mad rush to release the next generation of HTC handheld devices. Holding the crowd back from the showroom floor, as it were, the various representatives, workers, and show people replaced about every other phone that was already on the floor with the new devices that’d been announced less than a half hour before. This was no less than a microcosm of the event as a whole and indeed of this new mobile technology culture’s ravenousness as a whole. Come with us on this pointed journey.
Meanwhile, photographers tried their hardest to snap a photo from afar, or maybe to get a treasured shot of someone holding one of the three devices that weren’t software ready: the HTC Flyer tablet, the HTC ChaCha, and the HTC Salsa. As I and a crowd at least as large as you see in the image above were waiting, a fellow whose job it was to man the desk you see at the bottom of the photo was placing these coveted devices in the glass cases on the corners of the desk. As a cohort of his closed and locked one of the doors, the man held the HTC Flyer in a way that everyone around me found it necessary to snap up a thousand photos.
It was odd, as if these exhibitors did not know that the photos they were taking were essentially already up on all the main tech blogs – what where they doing taking more? They wanted these photos for themselves. They wanted to get past the guards and put their hands on the precious unnatural magic that was this new collection of devices, to see what it felt like to hold them and to move back and forth from screen to screen with them.
The social implications of this event are ripe with both exciting and terrifying points. How did the industry mold these consumers into a pack of ravenous beasts, ready to tear through one another for a chance at a close-up photo of a phone that, to the layman, isn’t that different from the devices already out in the market?
Once the head HTC fellow said “alright,” myself and the rest of the crowd essentially fell upon the devices, all of them, including the ones that’d been on display for two days at this point, were surrounded and awed over. What a treat it was for them to be able to see such a wonderful piece of technology!
I looked upon these devices and indeed, they were good. I photographed these devices and yes, they did look very nice. I’ll take a ChaCha, if anyone wants to write that down for later? Also the Flyer looks like it could be the white storm the new tablet market (at least on the Android non-giant-tablet side, anyway.) It has a stylus!
Then thereupon I did leave that release and I did continue to run about wildly.
What did I gain from such an experience? What did I learn? Nothing I didn’t already know from years of going to Star Wars movie openings: keep your head up don’t fall over, and if they say no cameras, make sure you hide yours really well.
NOTE: this post is part of a series of posts we’re experimenting with here on AC marked with the tag [AC Event Security Series]. Whether we expand on this series in the future, move to different similar such series, or abandon it altogether is all up to you, the greater community. We want to bring you what you love and what you’re interested in inside the Android world, wherever that may be, and we’re here to give you the best and deepest dives into information that’ll make your fingers tingle. That said – let us know what you think!