As previously discussed in the Spotlight Series, mobile is changing everything. Technology aficionados await the latest and greatest in mobile with bated breath, and report after report details how mobile is the future of the industry.
But as exemplified by this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, sometimes the biggest news isn’t always about the cutting edge; sometimes the most important innovations come as adaptations in accessibility. The annual conference is similar to CES, but focuses solely on all things mobile.
With Apple and Google absent from the event, the first day of MWC featured launches and press conferences from some of the lesser-known, but growing players in the mobile space, such as Asus, China’s ZTE, and LG. All three introduced Android phones targeted at a lower price point, highlighting the growing need for mobile accessibility in entry-level and emerging markets. We also saw budget and midrange launches from Nokia, including the newest Windows Phones, the Lumia 720 and 520, as well as the remarkably inexpensive Nokia 150. Nokia acknowledged its demographic as a younger audience who aren’t looking for top-of-the-line technology or prices.
Another trend at MWC is the emergence of the “phablet.” Samsung’s Note 8.0 is an 8” Android Jelly Bean tablet that can be used for phone calls as well, further blurring the line between mobile phones and tablets. LG’s 5.5-inch “phablet,” the Optimus G Pro and Asus’ Fonepad also proved that the markets for phones and tablets are not mutually-exclusive.
Perhaps the biggest news comes with the launch of two two mobile operating systems, Tizen, which is a joint effort from Samsung and Intel, and Mozilla’s Firefox OS, introducing new players into the already crowded mobile OS space.
In addition to new phone launches, the MWC also saw inroads in application of mobile technology, specifically in the automotive, energy, and city planning. Renault showcased its in-car app functionality, designed to rival similar offerings by BMW, Audi, and Toyota, proving that mobile technology isn’t just about trendy phones and tablets – there are so many exciting innovations to come.
Check out some of the hot new phones of this week’s Mobile World Congress here.
Every week, we’ll pose a question to get the conversation started on Facebook:
What phone are you most excited about? Would you use a non-iOS or non-Android operating system?