Mobile World Congress update – Sunday

In its 15th year, the Mobile World Congress kicked-off in Barcelona yesterday with a flourish of announcements. This year the event is expected to pull 94,000 people from telecommunications, media and technology industries and their adjacencies. Over the next 3 days I will cover off the major topics discussed each day and identify implications for the Australian market.

Before outlining the major news from Sunday, there a few articles worth reading to get you up to speed on mobile:

1) What happened at MWC last year?

2) Ben Evans history of mobile and the industry/market assumptions that could not have been predicted…without hindsight

3) The Economists 2015 articles on “Planet of the Phones” and “Telecoms and Society

4) Deloittes 2016 TMT predictions

5) Mobile World Live – which provides live streaming of the event including keynotes

On to the news from the pre-event… There was one major topic from events on Sunday at MWC – New devices

Samsung – Samsung again put forward a claim for the smartphone crown launching its Galaxy S7 and larger sized Galaxy S7 Edge. The key features of the new smartphone include a more advanced camera, ‘always on display mode’ for a ‘zero-touch experience’ and a hybrid SIM card tray for dual SIM and extra storage. The devices will be available mid-march and will perhaps be indicative of the technology we will see from Apple with the iPhone7 launch later this year.

LG – Not to be outdone by Samsung, LG gave its G5 smartphone a big push yesterday. CEO Juno Cho showed off the device saying in his address ‘Is the era of the smartphone over? We think the best days are still ahead.’ LG has designed the G5 to be modular in its hardware design allowing for battery exchange and the ability to attach accessories (like a VR head set and a rolling bot… yes a robot that can monitor your home, take pictures and play with your pet.)

Huawei – Huawei launched the Mac… no… MateBook (which should have appeal in Australia…) targeting enterprise users. It smells like a Surface Pro running Windows 10 and rivals an iPad Pro for looks. It includes fingerprint encryption, MatePen (a high precision stylus) and 29 hours of battery life.

Day 1 (Monday) will see a number of keynote addresses from leaders in mobile technology including one from Mark Zuckerberg. It will be interesting to hear how he addresses recent criticism of Facebook’s Internet.org a perennial topic for the Facebook boss at MWC. There will also be discussion on 5G technology (from carriers and technology companies), IOT (expect automotive to play a role), Security, Identity and Media.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update!

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