Here are items I picked up from the news feeds from MWC Day 1. Note I am not at the event so I am only reporting from what is in the news.
Samsung Galaxy S5 is an incremental upgrade of Samsung's flagship on most relevant metrics but still feels somewhat hollow. Partly most of hte big news was already leaked or well guessed (waterproofing, fingerprint sensor, 16mp camera) or else didn't really capture our excitement (heartbeat monitor, barometer, IR transmitter to let the phone be used as TV remote control...) It has tons of software goodies and tidbits like the auto-focus on the camera is fastest of any cameraphone at 0.3 seconds. And the microSD memory card capacity is now the highest available at 128GB. Also for the fashionistas: the colors will include gold. It will ship in 150 countries by mid April. Its a very compelling flagship but it didn't really push the envelope. Not like how Sony's Xperia Z1 last year which matches most of the specs of the Galaxy S5 now (but selling 6 months later) yet Sony's older flagship has a significantly better camera (20 mp)
Sony also upgraded its flagship and it will be known as the Xperia Z2. Offers 4K video recording and boosts the screen size to 5.2 inches. Mostly otherwise similar to Z1.
Hey back to Sammy. Samsung did upgrade the Galaxy Gear and now offers two wearable smart watches which now run on... (our favorite dark horse new OS on this blog..) Tizen. So Tizen isn't exactly dead yet now is it? And the Tizen boss is promising there will be even a smart PHONE for sale later this year (by whom and when is anybody's guess haha)
Other smart watches out at MWC included ones by LG and Huawei. All that smartwatching doesn't convince me any further that there could be a significant sized mass market for smart watches. Its just not a compelling user case and proposition.
What else did they announce? Panasonic seems to regret abandoning smartphones and now returns with some rugged smartphones. (Following HP's sudden return, when is Dell following suit and admitting it was too hasty to quit smartphones, the future of computing?)
Obviously the big buzz was the three Nokia X series smartphones running Android. I wrote a separate blog about how crazy that is for Microsoft. Its like as if Sony would announce that the next Playstation will run on Nintendo's Wii platform. Or Apple's iPhone 6 would suddely be revealed to run on Blackberry OS haha... Yes, madness. But we've seen this movie before. Wherever Elop leads, madness follows. I can't wait for Elop to be back at Microsot and continue his demolition activities there haha... (for those new to this blog and who might not know the details, Elop was literally the worst CEO of any Fortune 500 sized company ever and acheived - yes - a world record - in corporate failure. Not just in phones or tech. In any globally competed industry of Fortune 500 sized companies. See all the facts here if you don't believe me)
There were some mid range phones by this and that brand, nothing really to write home about. There was some interesting news about smartphone loyalty, a global survey by WDS which found that Apple is again on top - no surprise. Apple's loyalty is so strong that 76% will buy another iPhone. Who is second? Samsung. 58% of Sammy owners want their next smartphone to also have a Samsung brand. No other brand hits 40% loyalty. They also asked about those who are planning to change to another brand what is their top choice. You'd think iPhone but the findings say Samsung is choice of 34% and iPhone only 24% of those planning to switch brands. Still it once again reinforces the fact that there are two giants and the rest of hte industry is lilliputs.
Mozilla promises smartphones on Firefox that will sell for 25 US dollars without subsidy. That may seem awefully cheap until you notice that there are already plenty of Android smartphones selling for under 40 dollars today. That 25 dollar level will soon be matched by low-end Androids. Might be even before Firefox based devices are manufactured and shipped to the market haha...
Lenovo updated its flagship the S which now has 5 inch screen and 13 mp camera but costs well below the Galaxy S5 or iPhone or Xperia at only 350 dollars unsubsidised price.
On the industry trends, Ericsson CEO spoke of a near future when smartphones will cost as little as US $10.00 unsubsidised. Haha that is MY forecast! Remember how radical it was back in 2010 when I made it but yes, we are well on track that by 2020 there will be fully touch-screen 3G WiFi GPS smartphones with good cameras that cost $10. And now I am not the only one saying so haha. Nice to hear Ericsson also doing the math and arriiving at the same level.