Apple Talks, People Listen (Small Caps)

Wow, Apple really knows how to spice up the party. I was sitting in a cafe yesterday writing up a few hands-on posts and my “5 Favorite Phones” from the show when word came out of California that Apple will be holding an iPad 3 event on March 7th in San Francisco.

The funniest part? In a hall not far from where I was enjoying a sandwich, Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt had just taken the stage to discuss Android, which has been the star of Mobile World Congress so far. It powers many of the new flagship phones and tablets announced by Asus, LG, HTC, Samsung, to name a few. And so suddenly, when Apple’s press invites went out yesterday afternoon, all of the buzz turned to the iPad 3. All of the excitement about quad-core phones and crazy new tablet-phone concoctions like the Asus PadFone was suddenly sucked out of the sweet Barcelona air.

You can imagine my excitement then, when I received text messages from friends asking me what sort of new features the iPad 3 will offer. Sure, it’s probably going to rock our socks off with a quad-core processor, support for LTE networks and a brand new ultra-sharp Retina Display. But there I was, writing about other products that, I truly believe, deserve the same sort of excitement that the iPad 3 garners.

Why isn’t Samsung’s Note 10.1, a tablet clearly about content creation as opposed to consumption, getting this sort of love? The Asus PadFone is probably one of the coolest and most useful devices I’ve seen in the past year and yet I’d bet that not a single one of my friends back home has even heard about it.

I don’t blame Apple – it’s great marketing. The company deserves its successes because it makes great products and, in my experience, takes good care of its customers. And just to be clear, I’m not writing an Apple lovesong here. I don’t even own an iPad — I’m currently using a Motorola Xyboard 8.9 — and I recently switched from the iPhone to an Android device. It’s just a bit weird being at the world’s largest show focused on mobile when a company some 6,000 miles away simply sends out a mass email and turns everyone’s heads.

In the 1980s My grandfather helped coin the phrase “When E.F. Hutton Talks, People Listen.” Not anymore. When Apple talks, people listen.