Friday, March 6, 2015

Mobile World Congress 2015 Roundup

Mobile World Congress 2015 was the largest gathering of mobile marketers, mobile manufacturers, mobile communications, and mobile tech-heads in the world. This is a place where Apple is not represented but was often kicked enthusiastically by their rivals. While Apple does not make product announcements at the conference just about every other company in industry use the platform to showcase their latest and greatest. Each had their presentations honed to perfection and took the opportunity to dazzle the audience with videos, devices, and vision statements.

This year the majority of press focused on phone hardware, wearables, and virtual reality. While the big announcements (especially Samsung) got most of the press it’s interesting to see that different countries had a local flavour to their news focus. The following is a few examples of how each country reported MWC 2015:
  • Australia: the big story from Mobile World Congress concerns a Telco, Optus, releasing a mobile payment watch. I’m sure this will stir up a few financial institutions in Australia.
  • China has plenty of articles on the Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei, ZTE, and Lenovo.
  • India: certainly covered the Samsung and HTC announcements however there has been more focus on the mid-price handsets by Gionee, Sony, and Microsoft.
  • Ireland: is excited about partnership announcements including Brite:Bill Sprint as well as Asavie Zvelo.
  • Japan: along with the generic news on the latest handset announcements, Fujitsu’s Iris technology rated plenty of mentions.
  • Spain: The land of the conference! The news focused on the Samsung announcements, the endorsement of the conference by King Philip VI, and the attendance.
  • UK, USA, Germany: plenty of focus on the latest handsets and watches that were announced. Especially the Samsung and HTC devices.
Of course new phones and gadgets got the most focus so let’s quickly run through some of the key announcements and products that have been of interest around the world (in alphabetical order):
  • Fujitsu’s Iris technology
  • Google’s Android Pay API
  • HTC’s One and Vive
  • Huawei’s smart watch
  • LG’s Urbane watches
  • Microsoft’s Lumia 640 & Windows Mobile 10
  • Samsung’s new Galaxy 6 & Edge, VR &, MST
  • SanDisk 200GB microSD card
MWC is not all gadgets; a number of large organisations announced or reiterated their professional technology partnerships, these included (by far not exhaustive):
  • Apple & IBM for enterprise mobile applications
  • HTC & Valve for VR
  • SAP & Jasper for IOT
  • Qualcomm & Cyanogen for OS on QRD
  • Samsung & Cheetah for Junk Cleaning
  • Mozilla and Orange for Kilf Firefox
Being that MWC is a conference not surprisingly there were plenty of discussions, presentations, marketing and deep-diving on the agenda. Most notably was Zuckerberg’s keynote where he discussed the” Internet for All”, program. Mark highlighted the good progress that has been made with partner companies in half a dozen countries. The model focuses on introducing free services that then lead to an uptake of paid data services. Additionally there were plenty of other great speakers and topics on the MWC agenda including:
  • Mobile Advertising and Marketing
  • Internet of Things
  • Mobile Money
  • Mobile Gaming
  • Future of Mobile
  • Mobile Apps
  • Net Neutrality
Finally to wrap up I’d like to leave you with some inspiration. The following quotes have no doubt been tested and sweated over by marketing geniuses before being let loose on the unsuspecting conference attendees. With these terms the speaker’s reinforced company and product visions and they make for a nice comfy feeling the next time your mobile phone rings. In no particular order here are some of my favorites:
  • HTC: “Relentless pursuit of brilliance” & “Utopia in progress”
  • Samsung: “crafted”, “mystical”, “you are covered”
  • Sony: “the wow”
  • Huawei: “Dream makers”, “dreams inspire creativity”