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MWC 2019 Device Blog: Day 5: Wrap Up and Summary

by Rajeev Nair | Feb 27, 2019

Mobile World Congress (MWC 2019) - is under way in Barcelona Spain from Feb 25 to Feb 28. The annual trade show is the largest and the most important mobile industry event of 2019. It showcased new devices, technology and initiatives by leading mobile vendors that would set trends in 2019.

As usual, Strategy Analytics had a large team of analysts across Smartphones, Drones, Robots, Tablets, Wearables, Components, Smart Home and Connected Cars in attendance. We extensively covered the prominent launches and announcements from top device vendors and mobile ecosystem.

You can access our daily device blogs covering each prominent announcement by the day, as below:

MWC 2019 Device Blog: Day 4 Looking Past the Hype at MWC 2019 (available here)

MWC 2019 Device Blog: Day 3 Unfolding Innovation (available here)

MWC 2019 Device Blog: Day 2: Smartphones (available here)

MWC 2019 Device Blog: Day 1: Smartphones (available here)

As has been the trend with the Mobile World Congress, vendors were eager to showcase their offerings even before the trade show officially kicked off. Major smartphone vendors like Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, LG, HMD Nokia etc. went all out with their flagship launches during and pre MWC.

5G and Foldable phones stood out as the main themes in most of these high profile launches. Below we sum up major launches during and around the event.

- Samsung: The world’s No. 1 smartphone vendor announced a series of smartphone launches just prior to MWC’19. As expected, its flagship iterates in Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus brought forth its 5G capabilities. Samsung capped the 10 year anniversary of unveiling its highly successful Galaxy series with its foldable device, the Galaxy Fold. Detailed analysis available here  from our EDT service.

- Huawei: With Huawei’s Mate X, the vendor showcased both the 5G and its foldable capabilities in a single device. It is debatable whether having foldable display and 5G capabilities in the same device together at such an early stage was the right decision. A whole sale price of US$ 2100 too stakes up the odds for this device. Our detailed analysis is available here. 

Xiaomi:  Xiaomi unveiled the 5G version of its Mi Mix 3 smartphone; it features the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor. The 6.4 inch device also includes a hidden front-facing camera that slides out. Alongside the 5G capability it’s the price of US$ 500 that makes this offering competitive in the new 5G segment. The device to be available for retail from mid of 2019.

HMD (Nokia):  HMD (Nokia) launched an array of devices across price bands. The launches included Nokia 9 PureView, Nokia 4.2, Nokia 3.2, Nokia 1 Plus and Nokia 210  which being a feature phone.  In its launches Nokia has stayed  away from the  5G hype and instead focussed on imagery with the world’s first five camera system on its new flagship, the  Nokia 9 PureView.

LG: LG too unveiled its first 5G smartphone, the V50 ThinQ  5G, at MWC’19 . Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 SoC the device boasts of a new biometrics technology that unlocks the phone by reading the veins in a users’ hands.

Key 5G launches MWC 2019

Some of the other notable launches from leading device vendors included ZTE’s Axon 10 Pro 5G , Oppo’s  first 5G prototype,  TCL’s Blackberry’s Red Edition Key 2, Alcatel 3, Alcatel 3L and Alcatel 1S and Sony’s Xperia 10, 10 Plus and Xperia L3 smartphones.

Mobile World Congress 2019 is more likely to go down in History as the evet which formally kick started the 5G race among device vendors but amidst all the hype  Strategy Analytics is of the view that there are major challenges leading up to commercialization and monetization in 2019. Pricing is just among one of the key challenges. We have been hence conservative with our 5G device forecasts.

Having said that the event has stepped up the device vendor’s reliance on technology innovation as the key to survive and grow in a steadily declining global smartphone market. We have been analysing these innovations and publishing our perspective on what to expect from them in 2019 and beyond. Be sure to check out our insight reports on the new device launches at MWC’19.

This wraps up our device coverage of MWC 2019….We look forward to see you the coming year in February 2020.

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