It’s become arguably the most anticipated event in the global tech calendar, overtaking the CES (Consumer Electronics and Technology) Conference that was held last month when it comes to blockbuster unveilings. Next week Barcelona will host the Mobile World Congress, where the latest technology in the world of mobile is showcased. It’s become the event of choice for the big smartphone and tablet brands to give hungry consumers the first sneak peak of upcoming new releases and technologies.
In recent years, the event has become much more than one centred on wireless communications devices, which it started out as. Social media companies, chip companies, app makers and even car manufacturers are all expected to be heavily present at the 2018 edition, proudly showing off the new products they hope will take the technology world by storm over the next year or two.
Let’s take a look at 3 major talking points we predict attention will focus on next week:
Samsung Galaxy S9
Going into the event, the most anticipated slot on the agenda will be reserved for the last day. On Sunday March 4th, Samsung is set to unveil the latest model in its flagship smartphone series, the Galaxy S9. It’s been hyped as the smartphone that will ‘reimagine the camera’, a promise that has tech aficionados on tenterhooks. There are also rumours Samsung might display foldable screen technology they are rumoured to have been working one, though it’s not clear if this might be incorporated in models set for a 2018 release.
However, it’s not just Samsung that will unveil a new phone with HMD (Nokia), Sony and Chinese pretender Huawei also presenting their own upcoming new handset ranges.
5G has been around for a while purely in terms of the technology. However, a slowdown in investment from telecoms operators has meant that the significant expense of actually getting the infrastructure in place has been held back. The telecoms hardware companies such as Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei have been hit by the relative dearth of infrastructure investment over the past several years but have continued to work on 5G. Now, however, deals are finally starting to happen and big operators in the USA and Asia are announcing big investment plans to upgrade their networks to 5G.
It’s expected to be a major theme at the Conference, with 5G a key component to the possibilities around the ‘smart cities’ of the future and autonomous cars, whose manufacturers will also be a notable new presence.
China’s Huawei has been gradually making inroads into the Western consumer and mobile technology market for a while now. However, it has taken a while for the company to break through the stigma attached to a ‘Chinese’ smartphone, which has meant that really competing with Apple and Samsung has so far remained an ambition. However, steady presence on the market and popular models being released in recent years means that Huawei is now starting to reach the point it can make a real push and force the ‘Big 2’ into a ‘Big 3’.
The company will unveil its new range of phones at the Mobile World Congress and has a point to prove. A recent deal with US telecoms operator AT&T to sell its handsets had looked like a major step towards cracking the US market recently only for it to fall through. The collapse of the deal prompted Richard Yu, the company’s head of consumer products to argue that US consumers had lost out.