Brands to Watch at Mobile World Congress 2018

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Samsung Galaxy S9 colors #MWC18

The Mobile World Congress (taking over Barcelona through March 1st) will feature iPhone X rivals plus the latest mobile innovations in artificial intelligence (AI), Mobile IoT and 5G—as well as diversity—taking center stage. Some developments to watch:


Caterpillar is releasing a new Android phone with the pricey ($1,100Cat S61 with Bullitt Group, also partnering on Land Rover‘s first branded phone.


Huawei announced its first 5G chip, which will allow the company’s mobile devices to access 5G cellular networks, the MediaPad M5 and an iPhone X competitor.


Intel will demo its forthcoming 5G-enabled two-in-one devices.


Nokia owner HMD Global is showcasing new models including a near $1,000 model and a new spin on the “banana phone” used by Neo, Keanu Reeves’ character in The Matrix.


Orange, KPN and IoT connectivity platform supplier Actility reveal first successful field test of actual roaming between nationwide public IoT networks.


Qualcomm news includes simulation of how fast 5G networks can be; IoT advances with GoPro, Fossil and other brands; and demonstrates connected auto tech with a concept car featuring 5G and Gigabit LTE and Cellular-V2X demonstrations from trials in San Diego.


Samsung launched its flagship S9 smartphone with an improved camera and augmented reality (AR) capabilities—plus animated human emojis—to challenge Apple’s iPhone X. (Carriers including Comcast, U.S. Cellular and others are announcing availability details.) Samsung also announced My BP Lab, an app to research blood pressure and stress.


The Seamless Air Alliance looks to bring better, faster Wi-Fi to airplanes.


Telefonica is launching a voice-activated assistant called Aura in six countries, using artificial intelligence to interact with its customers.


• & Gartner research shows a 5.6% drop in year-on-year smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2017. Consumers may be holding on to their phones longer and may be increasingly unimpressed with the frequency and diversity of new models. Marketers may put less emphasis on apps and become more mobility-centric (vs. mobile-centric).

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