It’s the tail-end of February and that can mean only one thing. The whole of the mobile phone industry decamps to Barcelona to chew the fat and gawp at the new phones at Mobile World Congress, or MWC as most of the planet calls it.
There’s already quite a buzz about this year’s event, largely because of the usual round of leaks and pre-conference announcements. But what then can we expect from MWC this year? Here are five things to watch out for.
The big story on Sunday, the press conference day, is sure to revolve around Samsung. According to the rumour mill, the Korean giant has at least a couple of new mobiles lined up – maybe more. The hot money is on the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S6. We have written endlessly about it here. Also likely is a version of the Galaxy S6 with the side bar which premiered on the Edge at the end of last year. Don’t rule out some wearable action too.
We have already had one big wearable announcement with Pebble unveiling its Time watch. Expect there to be a lot more watches and wearables premiered at the show, including the LG G Watch Urbane and a Huawei watch. Some of the smaller companies might also debut products and you wouldn’t bet against there being a smart ring or two either.
Well, we already know the story here: HTC will parade the HTC One M9, the successor to its very popular M8. The big question then is whether HTC has anything else up its sleeve – we will have to wait and see on that one.
The ghost of Apple
How do you steal a bit of thunder from MWC even if you are not turning up? Well if you’re Apple, you announce a press conference for March 9th and leave the world wondering what exactly you’re going to launch. The worst case scenario would be just more details about the Apple Watch. But might Tim Cook have something else in store? The ghost of Apple is sure to be haunting MWC as its rivals work out how to counter what the Cupertino company has planned.
More Chinese phones
Many of the big Chinese names, *cough Xiaomi cough* aren’t at MWC but there’s likely to be plenty of discussion as to how the likes of Huawei, Coolpad and Oppo, among others, might impact on the European and American markets in the coming year. Inevitably too there will be some lesser-known phones sneaking out from companies like Kazam and Kyocera.
We’ll be at Mobile World Congress from Sunday – you can see all our coverage here.