Mobile World Congress 2019: 4 Early Takeaways.
The Mobile World Congress is an annual event in which the industry-leading tech giants come together to launch their newest products whilst discussing the future of mobile communications. The event is held in Barcelona and is always very well attended, with over 2,400 companies and 107,000 key decision-makers projected to participate in 2019. This year, the event runs from Monday 25th - Thursday 28th February and is sure to present us with many tech talking points. The major exhibitors this year include the likes of Google, Huawei, Microsoft and Vodafone to name a few. Furthermore, keynotes are expected from some highly prominent influencers, including Rich Williams (CEO: Groupon), Nick Red (CEO: Vodafone Group) and Guo Ping (Rotating Chairman: Huawei). With the event already in full swing, there have been some big product launches and topics covered.
1 - Foldable phones.
The hottest topic from this year’s Mobile World Congress is the launch of foldable phones. The major foldable phone announcement during this year’s event came from Huawei, with the announcement of the
Huawei Mate X. Their new phone and tablet combination will rival the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which was announced a few weeks before the Mobile World Congress began. Since the announcement, it seems like everyone at the Congress is trying their best to get their hands on both devices and experience them first-hand. Whilst both devices are very aesthetically pleasing, the
pricing structure will certainly limit the purchasing intent of casual fans. The Samsung Galaxy Fold has a price tag of $1,980 (£1520) and the Huawei Mate X comes in at an alarming $2,600 (£1996). For most, that is an extortionate amount of money to pay for a device that may become obsolete in just a few years.
2 - The Nokia 9 PureView.
Another major product launch of this year’s Mobile World Congress was the Nokia 9 PureView. The device gained social media attention due to its design, particularly that it has 5 rear-facing cameras. All five of the cameras on the device work in sync to ensure that the highest quality picture is taken. A major advantage of this device, compared with the previously mentioned foldable phones, is its selling price. The phone has a price of $699 (£536), which is very affordable in today’s market. However, despite these features, Nokia may still find it difficult to convince smartphone owners to go with their brand over the likes of Apple and Samsung.
3 - 5G compatibility.
Products aside, 5G compatibility has been at the forefront of the Mobile World Congress this year. The new network is currently being rolled out by carriers across the world and is set to officially launch towards the latter end of this year. If you need more information on what 5G has in-store for us, then read
our in-depth blog post here. With progress being made, brands have used the Mobile World Congress as an opportunity to announce that their new devices will be 5G compatible.
The following products came with the news that they are 5G compatible: Huawei Mate X, LG V50 ThinQ 5G, Samsung Galaxy Fold, Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 and ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G. However, with the costs of building 5G networks being extremely high, it is likely that consumers may see a price hike in both the devices above and any other 5G compatible phones that are announced in the future. Furthermore, buyers should purchase with caution as
recent tests show that 5G is not as fast as initially anticipated.
4 - Chip implant.
One intriguing story from the Mobile World Congress is the news that a man received an under-skin chip implant live on stage. The radio frequency identification (RFID) chip was inserted into the man’s arm and is supposedly the size of “a grain of sand or two” whilst also being biocompatible. The participant stated that he was happy to receive the chip as he has an automatic house - meaning that the chip will presumably help him complete household tasks with less effort, such as unlocking the door. Furthermore, it was reported that another participant has received the chip and has been using it to make payments for goods. This advancement in technology is definitely an exciting concept to follow and could potentially transform the way that we perform many daily tasks in the future.