The dotMobi team spent last week in Barcelona at this year’s Mobile World Congress. In its second year at its new and larger venue, the show continues to grow in size and scope with the organizers reporting some 70,000 plus visitors at this year’s show.
From a device perspective there were a number of launches although no device seemed to ignite the imagination in the same way as previous years. I for one was expecting a lot more excitement about wearable devices.
Samsung launched the Galaxy S5 although the device wasn’t on open display at the exhibition. Only on display to selected media, the reception was lukewarm, with little to really drive the Galaxy series forward outside of features like a fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and impressive hardware specs. The South Korean giant also launched several wearable devices using the Tizen OS including the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.
Samsung Gear running Tizen
Nokia’s move towards Android was interesting given the Microsoft ownership bid, but the devices themselves, using a forked version of Android called Nokia X, have little to recommend them above their pure Android competitors particularly as they will not have direct access to Google services including the the Play store.
Speaking of new OS’s both Tizen and Ubuntu were at congress with real product this year, although the Ubuntu devices felt a lot closer to market with OEMs bq & Meizu due to manufacturer devices for launch later this year in Spain and other markets.
Sony continues to make inroads into the smartphone and tablet markets with an update to their Xperia series. The flagship Xperia Z2 phone, the budget Xperia M2 handset and the SmartBand SWR10 were on display at their stand and they continue to impress from a design and a UX point of view. One to watch over the course of 2014.
There were also additions to device portfolios from LG, Lenovo Huawei, HTC. These well spec'ed Android driven devices show just how intense competition is in this space. We will be watching device usage trends via DeviceAtlas closely to see how they fare in the real world.
Finally, dotMobi and Digital Element spoke jointly at MWC on Thursday morning on the intersection of device and carrier intelligence (slides here). The talk was well attended given it was at the tail end of a busy week. It was exciting to see this partnership come to fruition so quickly with several customers already using a combination of device and carrier awareness to their web strategies.
John Leonard (dotMobi) and Frank Bobo (Digital Element) co-present on Mobile Context