Mobile World Congress is upon us. The biggest trade-show in the mobile industry has begun, and we’re here to tell you all about what’s going to happen in Barcelona during these four days. From new phones and consumer products to cutting-edge technologies and demonstrations, there’s always something to talk about at MWC.
While consumer electronics are always exciting for us, they’re not the only thing coming to the Spanish city. Day zero, where most of the heavy announcements are made, is already behind us. So let’s focus on what’s to come, and take a quick look at what we’re expecting to see, as well as what we’d actually like to see.
A comeback for smartwatches and tablets
The two black sheep of the mobile sector, tablets and smartwatches have struggled to make a consistent impact on the market.
It’s not that tablets are doing bad, they’ve just clearly stalled in contrast to smartphones. Android tablets particularly haven’t been doing OK during the last couple of years, as no company can really seem to build a true iPad killer or budget champion. Here’s hoping we find something exciting.
It might be that we’ve reached peak tablet, and this is all there is to it. But we definitely haven’t reached peak smartwatch, as they really haven’t exploded at all. We doubt that MWC 2018 will bring that explosion, but it could at least make way for a smartwatch renaissance of sorts. More battery would be a good start. And actually, now that we’re on that…
One of the biggest drawbacks mobile technology has is its dependency on batteries. For all the fancy tech our devices can do, battery is still a huge problem for many of us. And unfortunately, we’re still not there in terms of important innovation leaps.
One part we don’t stop to think about too often is how little sustainable conventional batteries can be. They produce incredible amounts of waste, so they’re less than ideal in that regard. However, many companies are in line to present sustainable accessories for smartphones, and so we hope this open the path to more environment-conscious tech.
5G to rule them all
Although 2018 probably won’t be the year of 5G, in the sense that most of us won’t start using it during the next few months, you can bet your hopes in it being one of the biggest themes of MWC.
Carriers in the US and Asia are already announcing plans to roll out their 5G services later this year, though it will be a slow process with specific cities going first. Speeds won’t also be up to par to what the companies have continuously dreamt about, but surely, we’ll get there with time.
Qualcomm has already started a “5G simulation” on the event, with reports talking about how dramatic the increase in speeds are. You can expect to hear a lot more about it in the coming days.
Intel has also boasted about laptops and PCs getting 5G support, and it plans to show one of these on the trade sow. According to the ship maker, 5G-enabled laptops will be upon us commercially during 2019.
Cars (and AI)
What do cars have to do with mobile, you ask? You can take them with you… technically.
But in all seriousness, car tech made an interesting appearance last year, and we expect it to do the same again. The car industry is making its bet on smartphones to help itself make a technological leap, mostly thanks to advancements being made on AI, a hot trend every company is behind now.
Last year, for example, saw a partnership between Huawei and Porsche, where the Chinese manufacturer showcased the AI present in its flagship smartphone running on a top-of-the-line car. This year, we know Mercedes-Benz will show its own AI running on a new model.
In fact, we’re pretty sure AI will be a big thing by itself during the show, not just from the usual suspects, but also from smaller player trying to offer smart solutions.
Blockchain, because of course
The thing everyone is talking about. Of course, we expect blockchain to make an appearance during these few days, because how could it not.
Just saying the word right now is enough to generate some buzz, and you can be sure there will be startups, as well as bigger players, betting on some implementation of blockchain at a mobile level.
What those ideas and proposals will be, we still don’t know. Much less if they’ll be interesting at all. But who knows, the next big thing in blockchain could be hiding on one of those booths.
USB Type C dominates
While USB-C has already been the standard for flagship products for a while, its predecessor, Micro USB, is still very present on all sorts of mid-range devices. All things raging from accessories to tablets and phones themselves.
2018 is the year we hope Micro USB dies a quick, painless death. We expect to see USB-C finally make its way into mid and low range devices, something that didn’t exactly happen last year. If new phones are any indication, it’s a safe enough prediction.
Phones, lots of phones
Well, this is the obvious one, but we can’t stress enough how many phones are coming out this year at MWC. The so called “day zero” already showed us everything every company wanted to show, and no one was shy about making announcements.
Samsung already introduced the inevitable Galaxy S9, but we also saw offerings from several competitors like Sony, Alcatel and the Nokia brand (owned by HMD), which revealed a new set of smartphones as part of the Android One program. Announcements from Motorola are also expected.
And much more
The industrial revolution, Big Data, VR, health tech and more startups than you can count. MWC will give us much to talk about during this and the coming weeks, and you can expect to read more interesting stuff at AkuaroWorld.com during the next few days.