By Gonzalo Guzmán, lecturer on the Master in Online Marketing and Digital Commerce at EAE Business School
The month of February is here, so Barcelona is once again pulling out all the stops to hold the Mobile World Congress, the largest global event focusing on mobility, which attracted more than 100,000 professional visitors in the last edition from all corners of the planet. Over the course of 4 days, the eyes of the world turn to the Catalan capital to find out the latest trends and new technological developments that are showcased at the event and which are very likely to be incorporated in our lives over the coming months.
Just a few days before the start of the 2017 edition of the MWC, bookmakers are taking bets on what will be the biggest stars of this year’s congress. One of the most highly-anticipated events will certainly be the return of Nokia. The Finnish brand, together with the manufacturer HMD Global, which has bought the commercial operating rights for the brand for the next 10 years, is all set for its return to the device market with three new handsets, including the Nokia, with Qualcomm most powerful processor, and a homage to the legendary 3310.
Another rumour doing the rounds is that Apple may make its first ever appearance at the Mobile World Congress. However, it will not be launching a device or even showcasing its current range, but rather it would be at the event to present issues for the community of software developers, as it may have a small stand in Pavilion 8.1, also known as App Planet, dedicated to the world of mobile applications. For a time, Apple featured on the list of exhibitors on the official MWC website, although it is not there any longer. We do not know whether this is to create a greater element of surprise or because they have withdrawn from the event.
After the Note 7 crisis, which cost the company millions in losses, Samsung has announced that it will not be presenting the new S8 because it would rather wait. However, the company will be showcasing the new model of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 tablet. In addition, rumour has it that they may surprise us with a new flexible device that you may even be able to bend in half.
This year, Sony’s presence at the congress will be more discreet, presenting its new launches in private to its clients. However, HTC will probably make a real show of its new HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play handsets, as well as the new smartwatch that it is launching in collaboration with the sports equipment company Under Armour.
For its part, Lenovo will be showcasing ins new range of Moto G5 smartphones, which may be accompanied by another surprise or two, such as the Moto X. Huawei will probable launch various devices with a curved screen, including its new flagship products, the P10 and the Huawei Watch 2. Last but not least, LG has confirmed that it will present the new G6 with QHD screen resolution.
Alongside the devices presented by the big manufacturers, at this year’s edition of the Mobile World Congress, there will be lots of talk about other key issues, such as the imminent arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT), apps incorporating Virtual Reality in different fields such as healthcare, the roll-out of the 5G telecommunications network, advances in mobile security and identity, and the development of new cutting edge technologies, such as graphene, among others.
In short, it is set to be a congress full of interesting contents and innovative technological development that will soon shift from being technology of the future to forming part of our present.