NOW is the time to be working together, delegates at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona seemingly agreed.
But while handset manufacturers were demonstrating the desire to work together in the face of economic meltdown, they were also showcasing their inventions to fight off their competitors.
When it comes to the network vendors, however, all knives are out ? and emerging markets are clearly where all the action is in terms of growth.
One panel discussion I attended featured the CEOs of AT&T, Nokia and Microsoft - all talking about trends in mobile and how being "open" would save them all.
Microsoft's Steve Ballmer was quick to point out, however, that to him "open" doesn?t mean "open source". But when the discussion really got going, most of the talk centred on the Apple iPhone.
Off the applecart
Apple wasn't at Mobile World Congress, although its presence was felt throughout - mostly by the overwhelming amount of iPhones in the hands of delegates, and the obvious scramble from other manufacturers to try and emulate the success of the "Jesus phone" with touch interfaces and applications.
Just about all the major vendors have application stores now, modelled on the iTunes App Store. And the reason is obvious: 13m iPhone owners worldwide have downloaded as many applications as 1.1bn other cellphone owners.
BlackBerry has an app store, Microsoft announced it would roll one out with Windows Mobile 6.5 and Nokia was showing off its OVI store, which recommends mobile applications to users based on their location and what their friends are using, amongst other criteria.
Palm, LG, HTC, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and even newcomer Acer, which launched six new phones at the event, all have new interfaces, stores and phones that, well, look like the iPhone.
A journalist in the crowd assailed the Microsoft-AT&T-Nokia panel indignantly, questioning why the discussion focused on the iPhone which represented less than 1% of the market.
Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, who hosted the event, responded: "Because while iPhone only has 1% of the market, the other 99 seems bent on copying it!"
And perhaps the common desire to emulate Apple is one of the unifying elements pulling all of these manufacturers together in a giant Kumbaya.
One for all
This will be positive for customers, however, since the new love these companies have for each other was embodied in announcements like the coming of a universal cellphone charger.
It will use the micro-USB standard for connectivity and most major manufacturers, including Motorola, Nokia and Sony Ericsson have agreed to switch to it. The universal charger should be ready by 2010. This agreement was brokered by the GSMA, the industry body which organises Mobile World.
But while collaboration happens on one front, competition is more heated than ever on others. There are nine cellphone operating systems in common use, as opposed to three on desktop and laptop computers. The industry certainly doesn't seem keen on settling on one. The Palm Pre, designed to tackle the iPhone directly in the market, introduces yet another new operating system.
The network vendors, such as Motorola, Ericsson and China's Huawei ? the guys who create the big infrastructure stuff mobile networks are built with ? used Mobile World Congress to show off their abilities with next-generation network technologies.
The developing world is a focus for the entire mobile industry, given the growth prospects in Africa, and much attention was given to the need to establish fresh networks using wireless technologies to establish connectivity.
This was the focus of presentations by Ericsson, for example, which has developed solar-powered base stations being rolled out in Africa.
It was a frenetic and massive conference with between 40 000 and 50 000 people visiting the event in Barcelona over four days. Clearly mobile is the business right now, and its players have good reason to be more optimistic than most in today's market.