Next week Barcelona, Spain, will brim with the who’s who of the tech world. Sony, HTC, LG, and Samsung, to name just a few on the guest list, will each make appearances at the Mobile World Congress, where they hope to dazzle consumers and journalists alike with their latest hardware. But one company won’t pop in, and despite its absence, that company and its plans will surely drown out whatever its competition reveals.
If you haven’t already guessed, that no-show is Apple. Its thunder-stealing development? The iPad 3, now just weeks away from an official announcement. Apple, you see, has perfectly timed its invitations to that announcement to coincide with the start of the Mobile World Congress. As those make the rounds, talk will inevitably turn from whichever gadgets are being shown off to what Apple has in store with its latest tablet. It’s a master marketing stroke from a company renowned for them.
Just last week, Apple wrestled headlines from the likes of Google and Microsoft and dominated the tech blogosphere with news of its upcoming operating system, Mountain Lion. And next week will be no different. Apple will offer a whiff of its plans, and suddenly all else will fade into the background, reduced to a footnote against the biggest story around.
And that’s the point. After all, what better way to take the wind from your competitors’ sails than to upstage them, all without ever taking the stage.