The global telecommunication industry will meet for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. In addition to numerous new announcements in the smartphone sector, this year will be much more about the Internet of Things (IoT). While smartphones shall remain the central device for accessing the digital world, many new IoT devices are expanding the overall digital experience. Here are some of the highlights awaiting us this year at a glance.
In just a few years from now, around 20 billion connected devices will be a normal part of professional and private everyday life. By 2020, IHS expects 6 billion smartphones to be in use worldwide. According to Gartner, a further 14 billion consumer IoT devices will be in use, helping us to control our lives and carry out our daily work. How concrete will this forecast be in Barcelona when the Mobile World Congress starts on February 27th?
1. Android Wear Is Getting Things Moving in the Smartwatch Market
Let’s start with a market segment with high expectations that has not yet hit the ground running. It concerns the smartwatch market, which Apple clearly dominated with a market share of over 40 percent. Overall, however, the market has come to a halt. In addition to fitness applications, there are no significant applications so far that would justify purchasing a smartwatch.
Google now wants to bring version 2.0 of its wearable platform Android Wear into the market with some impetus, giving wearable devices more independence. The first models based on Android Wear 2.0 are likely to be introduced by LG in Barcelona. LG, which so far has not appeared so great in the smartwatch market, even has a nice feature for Apple user on offer: The new Google smartwatch from LG is anticipated to be used even in combination with an iPhone thanks to iOS compatibility. The new IoT world should therefore become more open.
2. Global IoT Ecosystem Ready to Roll
The Global IoT Summit, which takes place as part of the Mobile World Congress, will be all about creating an open IoT ecosystem that promotes global networks and enables new applications. On the first day of the fair, representatives from telecommunication providers and device manufacturers will meet to discuss trends and challenges and to present examples of future applications and business models. The entire IoT range is thereby covered, from connected vehicles to smart homes to smart cities. An overview of around 150 IoT exhibitors can be found here for those who desire to get a concrete idea of the current possibilities pertaining to the Internet of Things following the Global IoT Summit. By the way, McKinsey has recently released an interesting figure. Given its enormous potential, the Internet of Things could develop an economic value of up to $6.2T by 2025.
3. Incremental Improvements from the Smartphone Corner
We don’t expect any major innovations at the Mobile World Congress when it comes to smartphones. Our friends from Sony should complement its Xperia series with a few model variants. However, a new flagship model is not to be expected, since Xperia XZ was first presented to IFA in Berlin just last autumn.
At the beginning of the year, the newly formed Finnish company HMD Global already presented some of its innovations at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Although the company operates under the trusted Nokia brand, it is a fairly new play in the smartphone industry. So we might see some new announcements from their end.
Apple just overtook Samsung and is now the number one smartphone brand in the world. But the Californian tech giant remains faithful to its tradition and completely renounces a fair presentation. Apple’s main competitor Samsung has neither confirmed nor denied the launch of its new Galaxy S8 although a refresh of its flagship smartphone model would be due. Industry Insiders assume though that a new flagship model of the now second-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world is not to be expected before March or April. Lenovo remains, among other things, and a new Moto G model is indeed due. We’re excited to see it live!
Summary: We are looking forward to this year’s Mobile World Congress with many innovations in the IoT sector. At B2X, we have further developed our after-sales platform SMARTCARE Technology and our SMARTCARE Solutions for the IoT sector. This enables manufacturers of IoT devices to offer their ustomers an excellent customer care experience. Come and see us in Hall 6 Stand 6I11 and experience an exciting live demo of our solutions. Please get in touch with us!
Kimberly Meyer is the Head of Global Marketing & Communication at B2X.