I'm camped out at MEX for 2 days, wearing my analyst/blogger and FP hats.

It's been interesting so far - great bunch of folks, an intimate atmosphere, good venue, and some familiar faces. I like the format too - talks or panel discussions with frequent breakout sessions.

I'm here as a guest to take notes formally, so won't be publishing an exhaustive report, but some impressions and thoughts so far:

  1. Cliff Crosbie of Nokia was excellent talking about the importance of the retail environment, though we weren't clear what percentage of handsets are sold via this channel nowadays. Message: if you want to sell these products, make sure your sales force are knowledgeable, confident, and appropriately incentivised.
  2. Mike Grenville's break-out session on retail, where we concluded that we need simple pricing, building trust by letting users try things out, and across-the-value-chain incentives so that sales staff benefit from educating customers about mobile data services.
  3. The Prada phone has sold very well, and (coincidentally) has the strictest ever guidelines for retail display.
  4. There's a contradiction between wanting openness in all business dealings, and a well-integrated user experience running from content, through handset, to network.
  5. Big Brother vids generated 50x the traffic for Vodafone live and 10x as much revenue when they were made free to download as when they were sold.
  6. Vodafone see mobile as a satellite of fixed Internet use nowadays, apparently.
  7. The address book keeps being mentioned as a gateway to Internet services: score one, Mr Johnston :)
  8. Telecomms is Apple-obsessed right now, and (I think) ignoring that fact that the products their jealous of (ipod, Walkman) are all single-use devices whilst mobile is general purpose.
  9. Christian Lindholm: "Skype is interesting because of its intergenerational appeal"
  10. Contextual UIs which take the environment into account are (a) hard and (b) of questionable value.

All this, and Mr Heathcote lurking in amongst a crowd of on-brand Happy People in Nokia presentation...