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MWC’18: Smartphones – Preview 2

by Boris Metodiev | Feb 08, 2018

Mobile World Congress - the largest and arguably the most important mobile industry event – will be taking place in Barcelona, Spain from Feb 26 to Mar 1, exhibiting plethora of smartphones, multiple launches of new devices and setting the hottest trends in 2018.

As usual, Strategy Analytics will have a large team of analysts across smartphones, drones, robots, tablets, wearables, components, smart home and connected cars in attendance. 

In anticipation of the event, we expect the following hot topics and trends to make the biggest impression at MWC 2018:  

1.Multiple smartphone launches from major vendors:
Samsung will launch the latest Galaxy S9 at MWC 2018 on Feb 25. Judging by the invitation, the emphasis will be on camera advancements and we will most likely see a dual camera introduced. Huawei is another major vendor that usually uses MWC to unveil its flagship smartphones, but since it already announced a separate Paris launch later in March, it will probably use the event in Barcelona to release a mid-tier smartphone and other connected smart devices. Sony is also prepping a launch and it will be interesting to see if it is willing to be a bit more adventurous with the design of its new smartphones. HMD (Nokia), ZTE and TCL-Alcatel are introducing new products as well, trying to make their mark in an event full of announcements.

2. Flexible / foldable / rollable displays:
While it is unlikely to have a launch of a major device with flexible display at the MWC 2018, we will certainly see prototypes in numerous forms at the event. Samsung and LG are well positioned to be some of the leaders in a form factor that can completely revolutionize the smartphone market. Flexible displays can be a breath of fresh air in a stagnating industry and we can hopefully expect commercial launch of the new technology later this year.

3. 5G:
Multiple announcements by the likes of Qualcomm, Ericsson and Huawei on 5G developments indicate that 5G will be a hot topic at MWC 2018. Qualcomm has just revealed partnerships with numerous OEMs, many of them represented at the event. We expect adoption of 5G smartphones to start in early 2019 and will be closely following news regarding 5G chipset and network roadmap during the event.

5. Artificial Inteligence: 
Following the open battle of the leading AI platforms Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant during CES 2018, we can expect the trend to continue at MWC 2018. Artificial Intelligence is becoming an important part of smartphone industry and practically every premium device now has AI features of one form or another.  

Please stay tuned for our upcoming MWC 2018 Device daily blogs.


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