IBM and BIMA partner to bring our members' news from Mobile World Congress 2018
Bring the mobile industry together for its grandest global gathering and you’ll end up with a huge range of talking points. Ahead of the event, we’ve been scouring the news, teasers and rumours, then whittling them down to the ten things that have already grabbed our attention.
It’s the world’s largest gathering of the mobile industry and it’s happening 26 February to 1 March in Barcelona. Together with IBM, we’ll be there, interviewing speakers, exhibitors and attendees at Mobile World Congress, and we imagine we’ll be talking to them about things like this:
As a general if unofficial theme for the event, it’s going to be fascinating to see just how much tech makes use of AI. From IoT products to virtual assistants to next gen chatbots, you’re likely to find the artificial takes a step closer to being genuinely intelligent in Barcelona.
Expect lots of chatter from the likes of Nokia and Ericsson on the shift from testing of 5G networks to commercial deployment. There’ll also be a 5G panel at the event exploring the latest developments.
Samsung chatter heats up
This time, thankfully, the heat appears to be for all the right reasons. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are set to launch the day before the show, so expect the heaviest presence of all at MWC for a phone that some are suggesting could blow the competition away.
Sony is exhibiting a hand
Either Sony has improved on the design of the human hand, or we’re reading this wrong and it’s actually the teasiest of teasers for the new Experia XZ2:
What do those ripples signify? The smart money is on an end to Sony’s insistence on square edges.
Google goes quiet
We’ve not heard a great deal from Google about what they’ll be bringing to MWC, but if it isn’t AI related we’ll eat our Pixel. Pocket-lint is predicting Google Assistant compatible headphones and smart displays, but we’d be surprised if they didn’t have a little more up their sleeve than that.
Asus embraces the monobrow
It’s four years since Asus launched its ZenFone5S, so it seems a little odd that another ZenFone 5 (the Lite) will be taking a belated bow at this year’s MWC. A quad camera is one talking point. An iPhone-aping ‘notch’ (the big black monobrow at the top of the phone that houses all the sensors) is another.
When HMD bought the Nokia brand and rereleased the classic 3310, the reaction was almost universal love, followed by an almost universal realisation that messaging in the pre-smartphone era was really tedious.
So HMD have squeezed 4G tech into the 3310 body so you can enjoy the nostalgia without quite the same degree of thumb-soreness.
Huawei holds back?
Quite what Huawei’s planning for MWC is unclear. In fact, it’s unclear whether they’ll even be displaying their latest phone, which may be kept under wraps until March. If the P11 (or P20 depending on who you believe) does appear at MWC, it’s likely to be one of the most distinctive Androids on the market.
On Huawei watch
Also on the list of things Huawei may not be bringing to MWC is the Huawei Watch 3. Possibly it will feature touch sensitive bezels. Possibly it will use gesture detection. Possibly it will remain a mystery. But the company will be at MWC and they surely have to be showing us something?
The folding phone
We’re not talking the return of clamshells. Foldable, rollable plastic screens have been in development for years, and as techradar reported, rumours suggest their arrival - most likely from Samsung – is imminent, possibly as soon as MWC.
We’ll have news from and reaction to the event soon.