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Mobile opinion

10 top trends to emerge from MWC 2014

The Mobile World Congress is an annual mobile expo that takes over Barcelona every February. It's described as one of the biggest global events in the smartphone and tablet calendar, with huge launches from the likes of Samsung, Sony and Nokia. Bluegrass Digital highlights the top 10 trends that has emerged from the congress.
1. Super-cheap smartphones

The top trend emerging from MWC 2014 is super-cheap smartphones for the emerging markets. ARM showed their £20 ($33) Android-powered smartphone and Firefox promised a 'flood' of £15 ($25) devices. The Nokia X line is a project to drive Android-powered smartphones with Microsoft services as cheaply as possible, around £73.

© Syda Productions -
© Syda Productions -
Cheaper smartphones for the developing world, means cheaper smartphones for the US and UK market too. By 2015, anyone who still has a feature phone is going to have it because they want it, not because price dictates it.

2. Phablets

All major mobile brands introduced over five-inch screen mobiles, with Huawei's measuring seven inches. These new big screen mobiles are being referred to as phablets and as the name suggests, they are a hybrid between a phone and tablet.

3. Bigger tablets

In a bid to differentiate from Apple's iPad, tablet vendors presented slates with 11, 12 and even 13-inch screens.

4. 5G

Even though all the network vendors at MWC 2014 were talking about 5G, nobody really knows what it is. 5G is a 2020 concept - for it to happen then, everyone needs to start thinking about it now.

Rather than faster connectivity, it will focus more on how 7-billion people across the globe can access fast, affordable connections.

5. Mobile Carriers and LTE

LTE (long term evolution) is just starting to prove its worth to carriers and mobile device makers around the world. On the one hand, it will assist to stream TV more efficiently to handsets and may also be an important component in the modernisation of car Web technology.

6. Wristband Wearables

Forget Google Glass. The official GSMA Best in Show product was the Samsung Gear Fit - Samsung's smartwatch. MWC saw everyone asking about wearable strategy, with Samsung, Sony and Huawei taking different approaches: Samsung puts intelligence on your wrist, Huawei thinks you'll want to wear a Bluetooth headset and Sony records your daily activities calling it "life logging".

7. 64-Bit and Octo-Core Processors

64-bit processors address more than just speeding up 4GB of RAM, instead they speed up performance by dealing with larger chunks of information simultaneously and is a play to balance the power of battery life. Octo-core chips are a low-powered quad core - where the most powerful cores only kick in when needed.

8. Struggling OS try harder

Although Android OS is still widely popular, Samsung backed Tizen mobile OS and Firefox OS, with the former making its appearance in the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches. Firefox OS on the other hand, will come with handsets for the emerging markets.

9. Internet for everyone

Facebook is one of the internet giants clearly committed to connecting 5-billion people to the web at a more affordable price through the initiative. This is in line with Facebook's goal of being a 'mobile company'.

10. Connected cars

Manufacturers are designing their own vehicles with innovative technology systems. The Tesla S Model stood out. The car reports its position, whether it's had an accident or the technology it uses.

SAP and BMW research and technology groups have developed mobile technology for vehicles - the SAP cloud platform serves as a link between BMW and external partners who provide beverage and food and parking services, etc.

About Nick Durrant

Nick Durrant is MD at Bluegrass Digital, a digital production agency. We work with marketing teams and creative agencies around the world delivering digital platforms. After spending 15 years in working the industry in the UK and setting up the business in London in 1999, Nicholas now runs the business from Cape Town, developing the business in Africa and Europe.
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