What do you do if you're covering the final spring CTIA event in Las Vegas, at which not a single major mobile manufacturer has a booth, the only real hardware releases came from Kyocera (which is very much trying to get a foothold in the smartphone space, and good on them for doing it), and the only major operator news came from ... Jennifer Lopez?

Yeah, that was our week in Vegas. It'd be easy to bitch and moan about it being a "slow" show. But then again it'd be easier (and far, far cheaper) to not have come in the first place. So we did what we do -- we cover what we can see, and search for things we can't. In fact, it almost becomes a bit of a game among the press. With no pressure to be "first," it's a test to see who can dig up something to write. 

We had three of us here, which probably was two too many. The An(n)drews, as I've taken to calling them -- Anndrew Vacca and Andrew Martonik -- did fine work while I mostly tended to some #TM13 duties. But then came Verizon's announcement, which pretty much was the only thing we knew we had to be at. We had no idea what it was going to be, but it was the only real press invite of the week. So, we went. And what did we get? The one and only Jennifer Lopez standing about 20 feet away, awkwardly squinting into a large teleprompter, launching Viva Movil, which promises a better mobile shop shopping experience aimed at Latinos. A fine proposition, I think, and I've got nothing against marketing to certain demographics. (For those decrying the move as racist, every marketing campaign is racist. And sexist. And takes age and prosperity into consideration. Welcome to the real world.)

The next morning, after a good portion of the attendees had cleared out (to say nothing of most of the press), Ashton Kutcher had a little fireside chat with CNBC's Julia Boorstin. It was interesting, if a bit rambling, but on the whole not the worst way to spend an hour.

Readers' reactions were interesting, though. It's nice that folks worry about us wasting our time -- and it happens, sure -- but this is our job, after all. There was so much more gnashing of teeth over the Verizon/Jennifer Lopez announcement (which really had less to do with Verizon, since it's a silent player in all this) and less talk of Ashton Kutcher's 60 minutes on stage, which was filled with great quotes and (surprise, surprise) even a few insights. It's easier to get upset than parse, I guess.

Me? I was just stoked to have taken some of the best liveblog pictures in my career. Maybe I'm finally getting more comfortable with it. Or maybe it helped having them closer and well-lit.

And now, a few other thoughts:

  • Can we just get this damned white Nexus 4 out the door already? I couldn't care less that it's white, or that there's "ZOMG MORE CONFIRMATION IT EXISTS." Yes. It's real. We've all seen it. And it's the OS that's on it that's of greater importance. 
  • 10 million Galaxy S4s sold in a month? Holy cow. Remember, that's worldwide.
  • And I have a feeling that the reported 5 million HTC Ones sold -- assuming the WSJ's correct with that number; HTC's not saying -- isn't as low a number as we might think. 
  • Alex Dobie did a nice job presenting the questions posed by a potential "Googlized" HTC One. I still think folks (and blogs) like to make a bigger deal out of these than they really are -- and Google's probably plenty happy for that, actually.
  • @HuffPoSpoilers may be the greatest Twitter account ever.
  • The new Queens of the Stone Age record is pretty killer, as is the animation for the streaming preview. It's great to see bands embrace streaming before the launch date. 
  • See? Daft Punk is hardly the first band to ever to it.
  • DoCoMo's "Translater Phone" is pretty slick.
  • It's pretty amazing how quickly Google has implemented Google+ into so many of its other products. Some of that is branding, but a lot of that is integrating the tech.
  • Speaking of Google Plus, HTC Zoes -- those are the 3-second videos and 20 or so still images -- work pretty great with the new Auto Awesome feature on Google+. It takes a few of those still images (not the video) and makes a little animated gif out of them. It's a really quick and easy way to do it. And with it I've seen continued confusion over what a Zoe is.

Everybody in the states have a safe Memorial Day holiday on Monday.


Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Leaving the desert


Phil, so instead of the white Nexus 4 bullet, why didn't you simply say, "Can we just get this damned Android 4.3 out the door already?" I think that's the dog, and the white Nexus is the tail, rather than the other way around (or maybe they're not connected at all).

I take it you think the white Nexus will be an identical build to the black one, i.e., still 16GB max storage and no other hardware changes?

Thanks for pointing out the "that's racist" people about viva movile. It's called demographics and market segmentation people, everyone does it.

It's true. It's a huge waste of time and effort to advertise to people who will never be your customers for one reason or another.

I "discriminate" against poor people all the time. Not that I hate them, I just know they can't afford me so I don't target them. If they save up their pennies and find me and hire me, that's awesome and I truly appreciate their business. I will also treat them exactly the same as I treat my traditional audience. I just don't advertise to them or spend other efforts that, in 9,999 out of 10,000 cases would be like trying to blow a brick wall down.

Viva Mobil is not going to turn away other races, but they're trying to provide a service to a specific market. That market might actually appreciate it.

Yeah but imagine this:

"Anglo Mobile" or "white people mobile"

Lol. I am not white, but I guarantee you that everyone would consider it racist if there was something done for white people.

What's next Blanco Mobile or Negro (spanish for black) Mobile, Of course everynoe knows Asian mobile will have all the cool advanced hardware.

Then there will be individual sect's of each race, irish mobile, german mobile, italian mobil, puerto rican mobile, cuban mobile, etc, etc

BTW Verizon isn't racist, they hate all their customer's equally.

They mentioned this (glossed over it really during the presentation with J. Lo) The Latino population has mostly embraced the Prepaid market. I would assume usually because of the lower cost options there, AND no need to enter into a contract with a carrier.
I will be VERY interested in how they get Latinos (in the USA legally or illegally) to commit to contracts for mobile phones. I think they are doing the RIGHT things with making stores more accessible to the Spanish speaking population.