Here’s a compilation of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 held in Barcelona, Spain, the world’s biggest exhibition of new smartphones and mobile technology. The MWC basically offers a platform to see & showcase the latest trends in mobile and get a glimpse of where the global smartphone industry is heading.
Across markets, the smartphone upgrading cycle is getting longer as smartphone users hold on longer to their devices, thanks to the improved device durability, uniform form factors, as well as stagnating software features, which further dampen global growth. Normal iPhone upgrade cycle lasts for at least four years, which has gone up from three in 2018. In short, people’s interest in new phones has gone down, because they are all the same in the look and feel except the new features or some add-ons they give from the previous models.
The Future of Smartphones Unveiled
A week prior to MWC, Samsung had revealed the Galaxy Fold, which left all those attending the show waiting to feel and see this unique phone, but to everyone’s surprise, Samsung did not showcase the Galaxy Fold at Barcelona this year. It had other plans and wanted to focus on its other flagship Galaxy models rather than the Fold.
Huawei also unveiled their take on the foldable concept with Mate X, which intriguingly skews Samsung’s inward folding design for a flexible screen folds outwards. For the leading Chinese smartphone brand, Mate X is a significant milestone that demonstrated Huawei’s ability to lead on design instead of merely copying and iterating on existing form factors. Although it is hard to see Mate X gaining much traction in the mass market with a $2600 price tag, the halo effect Mate X created for Huawei will no doubt further help the Chinese phone maker to compete in global markets, especially in Europe where it already accounted for over 23% of the overall market in the last quarter.
In addition, TCL unveiled a set of foldable concept devices, but kept them behind a glass cover and offered no details in terms of pricing and release date. Oppo showed off a foldable prototype that looks very similar to Huawei’s Mate X. Xiaomi’s impressive demo video of its foldable concept remained just a video. And LG went for an alternative design for its new V50 flagship model, which achieves the goal of foldable phones by attaching a folio case with another OLED screen inside it. Legacy phone maker Motorola also announced it will start selling its first foldable phone, rumoured to be an update of the classic Razr phone, later this summer.
Looking past the buzz, it is easy to see that none of these foldable devices will be taking off in a substantial way. The sky-high pricing is a huge adoption barrier, but the value proposition could be an even bigger hurdle. While the foldable form will likely be a strong draw for attention and inspire some copycats, this innovation factor would wane sooner or later if the user experience can not deliver more value than a regular, non-foldable phone can today. So instead of being a smartphone that can unfold into something more, they feel more like a small tablet that can fold in half in order to fit into your pocket.
Nevertheless, as the future of mobile unfolds, it is quite exciting to see smartphone makers breaking out of the slim slate form factor and experimenting in vastly different form factor designs in this first draft of foldable phones. No matter where you stand on foldable phones today, it is important to remember that this is but the first draft for a new concept. The foldable phones are here, but it is still too early to tell if they will be the next big thing in mobile or another Amazon Fire Phone.
This is not it, there is a lot more that took place at the MWC2019.
The Show Stealers at The MWC 2019
Huawei Mate X: This somehow turned out to be the show stealer, because this new device not only has 5G connectivity but it has a superb folding design. Yes, this phone can be folded.
LG DualScreen: When talking about being delirious, LG revealed its craziest invention an accessory for its LG V50 ThinQ handset a unique case that also doubles up as an added, full-sized screen for the phone.
LG G8: The flagship product of LG that can scan your veins in your hand to unlock the device.
Nokia 9 PureView: The all new Nokia 9 PureView boasts the 5 lens camera that seems to have a lot of potential in it.
Sony Xperia 1: For a minute just forget the foldable because Sony brings it Xperia 1 with a 21:9 screens and 4K OLED Display.
Microsoft HoloLens 2: This is a whole new thing showcasing the mixed reality headset that comes with a comfortable design and a highly advanced optic that can track the movement of your eyes to find what you are seeing and give you a more immersive, reactive and augmented reality experience.
MWC 2019 turned out to be interesting to many and some were expecting more. For now, these were the new updates, being a top mobile app development company in India, 9series stays updated with the what’s new in the market, to deliver the best to our clients. Let’s see what next-generation technology will bring to us in the MWC2020. Stay tuned for more updates!