What to watch for at Mobile World Congress 2015

Last year’s Mobile World Congress brought us the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2, as well as creating a lot of buzz around terms like Internet of Things, connected cars, and 5G connectivity. We’re convinced this year’s event will be even more exciting. Here’s a little sneak preview into what to expect from Mobile World Congress 2015 held in Barcelona 2-5 March.

As we get closer to the show’s kick off, rumours have started to emerge from smartphone-focused websites and industry pundits. While it’s not possible to guess the entire show’s line-up before it begins, we can certainly try to piece together the main MWC rumours from around the web.

New flagship smartphones are on the way

Although MWC attracts all sorts of different companies working in the mobile industry, the new flagship devices from the biggest brands are usually the ones that hog the limelight.

One of the most anticipated devices to be released during MWC 2015, the Samsung Galaxy S6, is rumoured to incorporate a 5.1-inch screen housed in an all-metal unibody. It’s said to be powered by Samsung’s own Exynos CPU instead of the previously used Qualcomm Snapdragon processors.

Perhaps a more interesting story, though, refers to the alleged S6’s sibling, the Samsung Galaxy S Edge, which features a curved-edge screen for additional shortcuts and notifications, just like the one used in the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. If you’re questioning the usability of the additional edge display, we have a thought-provoking quote from The Verge for you: “Curved screens don’t have to be useful to be marketable.” Given that support pages for both devices have recently leaked onto Samsung’s Swedish and Finnish websites, the community is certain that Samsung’s new devices will hit the shelves soon.

The HTC One (M8)’s successor, the HTC One (M9), should be on show at MWC 2015 as well. HTC’s mysterious ‘Utopia’ event is scheduled for 1 March 2015, right before the event, and thus we expect the HTC’s booth to exhibit its latest flagship device. There aren’t many details on the new HTC One (M9) except for the likes of its 5.2in screen, Snapdragon 810s CPU, and an outer shell made of aluminium and liquid silicone.

Although some industry experts deny the rumours about Sony and LG flagship rollouts as early as March, Sony Xperia Z4 and LG G4 are also among the smartphones rumoured to be unveiled during MWC 2015.

The hype around smartwatches continues

HTC is expected to be among the companies jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon in 2015 by introducing a new HTC One Wear smartwatch along with the One (M9) flagship at MWC 2015. The new smartwatch will feature Google’s Android Wear OS for wearables.

Samsung is also supposed to accompany its new flagship releases with a smartwatch dubbed, reportedly, the Samsung Orbis. Unlike Samsung’s current smartwatches, this device will be round and charge wirelessly, therefore it won’t need a docking station or any type of plug to juice-up.

Following a recently filed Asus patent, the company may exhibit a smartwatch known as the Asus VivoWatch at MWC 2015. Given that Vivo devices are Windows-powered, this new smartwatch might actually be the first smartwatch featuring Windows.

The patent reveals that the new wearable device will be able to exchange data with “an electronic personal organizer or a mobile device,” and feature a heart rate monitor, as well as activity and sleep trackers.

This year’s MWC’s buzzwords

As we pointed out in mobiForge’s MWC’s wrap-up last year, the Internet of Things, wearables, connected cars, 5G and privacy were among the most often mentioned buzzwords during MWC 2014. We believe that these terms will also be just as important in 2015.

In addition to this we expect MWC 2015 to create some buzz around the following terms:

  • adaptive content — the smooth transfer of content between different devices from desktops, to tablets, to smartphones, just as described in DeviceAtlas’ e-book on content adaptation,
  • m-commerce — mobile-based retail is getting much more important (as a case in point, think about last year’s record Black Friday’s mobile-driven sales),
  • phablets — while large-screen smartphones have been around for quite a while, the iPhone 6 Plus’ launch has pushed phablets further into the mainstream.

What are your expectations for this year’s Mobile World Congress? Let us know in the comment section below.

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