What & When
The biggest mobile show on earth, Mobile World Congress, is about to take place in the Mobile World Capital of Barcelona for the 12th year in a row. The 2016 edition hosted 2,200 exhibitors and more than 101,000 visitors, and with 81% of survey respondents from the ’16 event saying they would “absolutely” be at MWC17, you can expect a full house.
This year’s theme is ‘The Next Element’, referring to how mobile technology has become almost as important as air, water, earth and fire in our lives.
MWC17 will take place between the 27th of February and 2nd of March.
MWC17 in Summary
In our trend report for 2017 we said this would be the most exciting year for smartphones in a long time. You won’t be disappointed. Our summary below highlights some of the expected announcements at this year’s MWC.
But there will be more. Be prepared for a continuation of last year’s VR hype, lots of new connected consumer and enterprise devices, more on the progress of 5G and the buzzwords of the year including artificial intelligence, machine learning and automization.
The MWC organizers are also trying to ensure that people make it all the way across the big venue. Therefore, they’ve put NEXtech in Hall 8 with focus on the next generation technology including robotics, drones, VR/AR and artificial intelligence.
Technology, technology and more technology, but what’s in it for me? What we will be looking for is new products and technologies that solve real problems for consumers and businesses. Last year we saw some truly innovative and problem-solving services in healthcare, navigation of drones and cars, education, smart cities and logistics.
What You Can Expect to See at MWC17
Big Smartphone Announcements
MWC 2017 is a big year for devices including the HTC 11 and LG G6, but it’s not just phones that we’ll see. Tablets, smartwatches and connected home devices will also be on display.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 was expected to be the highlight of MWC 2017, with rumors of a dual-lens camera, a longer-lasting battery, a powerful Snapdragon 830 or Exynos 8895 chipset, 6GB of RAM, an iris scanner, an AI assistant, a curved QHD or 4K screen and possibly dual stereo speakers and a fingerprint scanner built into the screen. However, a Samsung spokesperson told Reuters it will not be released during MWC17.*
Another highly anticipated device is the HTC 11 with talk of a massive 8GB of RAM, a curved screen, 256GB of storage and possibly ‘Sense Touch’ – a feature shown off in a leaked video, which allows you to interact with the handset by swiping or tapping the metal frame along the edge of the phone.
LG G6 is also on the rumour list with a 5.7-inch QHD LCD display, with an unusual 18:9 aspect ratio. The G5 modular approach will most likely not come back.
Other Device News
Other possible devices to be announced include Sony Xperia XZ 2, Moto Z (now part of Lenovo), Nokia 8 (Android device) and new devices from Alcatel, Huawei, Xiaomi and ZTE.
We don’t expect big news in terms of wearables, but maybe an Android Wear smartwatch if Android Wear 2.0 is announced on time.
Finally, we hope for some of the unexpected as well, whether it’s a first foldable phone or full OLED front screen. And no, nothing from Apple.
Internet of Things
In 2016 we stated that IoT is moving beyond pilots and collecting data from devices. This year we expect to see a lot more solutions for both the home (e.g. Google Next launching in four European countries) and the enterprise.
IoT is also very much about start-ups and sharing insights. There are a couple of really good events during MWC including IoT Stars at MWC17.
Industry Specific Trends and Solutions
Building on last year, we expect to see more innovation in retail/commerce, healthcare, manufacturing, media/marketing, finance/banking and transportation/logistics. However, finding these can be very hard.
Therefore, we recommend spending a day on research and preparations to find the companies and solutions that are interesting for you and arrange meetings. Just walking the floor is usually a waste of time as it’s simply too big and scattered.
MWC Event News
Other news this year include YoMo which is the Youth Mobile Festival to help inspire children between 10-16 years to study and embrace technology and science. Over 20,000 youngsters are expected to attend. This also interlinks with the Mobile Explorers Club.
Another big challenge in the world of mobile is the gender gap. Women4Tech is a new programme at MWC designed to elevate the voice of women in the mobile industry.
Finally, 4YFN is returning bigger and better with 650 start-ups and venture capitalists from around the world. Pay a visit and find the ones that solve real business and customer problems.
DMI at MWC 2017
DMI’s Floor Tours
We continue our famous show floor tours, guiding you to all the can’t-miss innovations at MWC17. It’s the simplest way to cover the latest and greatest on the expo floor in just under 60 minutes. The tour, which takes place daily and is led by mobile experts from DMI, will give you new insights, networking opportunities and plenty of time left to focus on the conference.
DMI Drinks and Discovery @ MWC17
Join us for a technology discovery session, drinks and tapas from 6:30 pm onwards at our offices in central Barcelona. Explore some of the coolest recent mobile technologies including our Virtual Reality Lab with the HTC Vive, and hear all about how it can drive innovation in your business.
Networking with your peers and industry innovators, all the most exciting new tech, open bar… There’s no better way to get your MWC week kicked off!
We look forward to seeing you there!
Chief Innovation Officer
*UPDATE: The Samsung Galaxy S8 will not be released during MWC17 as previously stated in this article.