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MWC 2016 : Day 2 Mobile Device News Roundup

by Linda Sui | Feb 23, 2016

Our devices analysts from Wireless Devices Strategies (WDS) service are on the show floor at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 -- the world's largest tradeshow for the wireless industry -- in Barcelona, Spain between February 22nd and 25th, meeting with clients / industry players from diverse sectors / journalists and experiencing many new innovations from the devices on the display.

Day 1 blog can be accessed here. Below are key takeaways from  Day 2 (Monday 22 February):

1.Sony Xperia X series phones: The Japanese vendor launched a new sub-brand X series at MWC 2016. It consists of three models : X, XA and X Performance. X series focus on performance in two core areas: camera and battery. The Xperia X is powered with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor and 5-inch full HD display. It also comes a 23-megapixel main camera and 13-megapixel front camera. A fingerprint sensor, memory card slot, and NFC are also included. The Xperia X Performance upgrades with Snapdragon 820 processor, faster LTE and a waterproof design. The Xperia XA is a lower-range phone with a 5-inch 720p It runs on a MediaTek processor and its cameras are 13 megapixel, and 8 megapixel in the front. It is NFC enabled but does not feature fingerprint sensor. X series is not flagship model for Sony, but we believe the enhanced camera function would help the Japanese vendor to defend its reputation in this segment. However, how to marketing and promote the new X series, especially in US and China via top tier operators and open channel retailers still remain a key challenge ahead.

2. TCL-Alcatel idol 4 series and POP 4 series: The Chinese vendor refreshed its high end and mid end models at MWC 2016. Idol 4 series contains 4 and 4S two models, both sharing plenty of design DNAs and coming with so-called Boom key, which allows users to quickly launch camera, music, video, game and other functions. They both also featue reversible design with three way reversibility - sound that goes from left to right, front to back and a user interface that works upside down  idol 4 featues 5.2 inch FHD display, while idol 4S upgrades to 5.5 inch QHD AMOLED display. Both models also features HIFI audio headset working with JBL and Waves. One more surpise is The IDOL 4S’s innovative packaging design which can transform into a pair of virtual reality goggles which, when combined with the smartphone, becomes the portal for users to enter the world of immersive 360-degree viewing and gaming. TCL-Alcate is one of Chinese OEMs formally entering and launching VR products so far. In addition to high end idol 4 series, it also debuted value segment POP4 series, including 4, 4+ and 4S three models. POP 4S features fingerprint sensor and 5.5 inch full HD display, Pop 4+ has a 5.5-inch display and more memory. The Pop 4 has a 5-inch screen and less memeory. TCL ranked as 8th largest smartphone vendor globally in 2015, the refreshment of idol and POP series, together with the new PIXI models launched at CES 2016 would help it maintain the momentum in 2016, but China market still remains a key pain point at this stage.

3. HP’s Elite X3 Windows 10 smartphone. HP is finally jumping back into smartphone market by launcing Windows 10 powered Elite X3 at the event. It is a high-spec model targeting eneterprise market. Specially it features 6.0 inch 2K AMOLED display, powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 16-megapixel camera, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage. It also comes with a 4,150 mAh battery supporting wireless charging. It also supports iris scanner and fingerprint, water-resistent and USB Type-C.  Furthermore, the x3 fits into an actual desk stand dock to become a desktop PC, to meet enterprise usage needs. Elite X3 is one of the most powerful Windows 10 phones in the market, supporting almost all new connection and binommer technologies. We believe the split of HP (HP Enterprise and HP Inc) later 2015 is a trigger of reentry smartphone market. However, we don’t think the reentry of HP will help Microsoft OS regain momentum in global smartphone OS market in 2016. Instead, it will define as a pricy / niche model targeting enterprise segment.

Please stay tuned for day 3 and day 4 blogs.

Xperia X Performance ColoursIDOL 4_ACCESSORIES_1HP-Elite-x3-left-facing

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