Mobile World Congress 2014: 10 Trends to Emerge From the Show Floor

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-02-21 Print this article Print

Mobile World Congress, arguably the biggest mobile event of the year, is kicking off in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 24. Each year, nearly every major maker of smartphones, tablets and, now, smartwatches will be in attendance. Many of these companies will hold special events to showcase their latest product lines. As with previous years, Apple isn't expected to attend. But its presence will felt in terms of applications, accessories and the competitive challenge its devices pose to the rest of mobile community. The rumors have been flying weeks before the show's official start in Barcelona. Several reports suggest that Samsung will unveil a new Galaxy S 5 with a big screen. Others claim that the new HTC One will hit the market in multiple colors. Still other rumors suggest smartwatches will steal the thunder as several companies, including Samsung, HTC and others, will show the world what wearable computers will look like in the next year. But rather than focus on individual products, this eWEEK slide show will look at some of the broader trends that will emerge from the MWC exhibits.

  • Mobile World Congress 2014: 10 Trends to Emerge From the Show Floor

    by Don Reisinger
    1 - Mobile World Congress 2014: 10 Trends to Emerge From the Show Floor
  • Really Big Screens Will Be Plentiful

    The average screen size at Mobile World Congress could get awfully large, if the rumors are true. There's talk that several companies, including Samsung and HTC, could show off products with screen sizes hitting 6 inches. There's even a possibility some devices might extend beyond the 6-inch mark. How much bigger can smartphone screens get?
    2 - Really Big Screens Will Be Plentiful
  • 4K Resolution

    The 4K craze is on. The ultra-high-quality resolution is expected to make its way into several devices at Mobile World Congress, alongside the lower-quality 2K resolution. Chances are that 4K will be a big presence in smartphone and tablet cameras. Here's hoping 4K televisions actually come down in price so users can enjoy the enhanced quality.
    3 - 4K Resolution
  • There Will Be More Wearables

    You can expect a wide array of companies, from HTC to Samsung, to show off their wearable computers at MWC this year. Samsung will likely unveil an update to the Galaxy Gear, while HTC is reportedly looking to show off multiple smartwatches. There's a chance that other, non-smartwatch technology will be coming, as well. Wearables have officially taken the mobile space by storm.
    4 - There Will Be More Wearables
  • Bigger Tablets Will Hit the Show Floor

    Remember the talk on bigger smartphone screens? Well, it won't just stop there. According to several reports, tablet vendors will show up at Mobile World Congress with slates featuring screens that measure 11, 12 and, perhaps, even 13 inches. Bigger tablets appear to be the next frontier for companies trying to differentiate themselves from Apple. Now it should be interesting to see if Apple responds with larger iPad screens later this year.
    5 - Bigger Tablets Will Hit the Show Floor
  • Android Will Be Everywhere

    Don't be surprised if the majority of the talk surrounding Mobile World Congress involves Android. The platform is by far the most popular mobile operating system in the world, and since it's open-source, it's being integrated quite nicely into products outside standard smartphones and tablets. Android will still be the mobile OS of choice at Mobile World Congress this year.
    6 - Android Will Be Everywhere
  • The World Will Get its Best Glimpse at Tizen

    Although Android will be wildly popular, Samsung-backed Tizen mobile OS and Firefox OS are also expected to make a splash at the event in Barcelona. Tizen will likely be shown off on some Samsung devices, and the Firefox OS will come with handsets for emerging markets. Android might still be king, but Tizen and Firefox OS will play a crucial role in mobile products this year.
    7 - The World Will Get its Best Glimpse at Tizen
  • Look for More Galaxy Note-Like Devices

    Samsung has been about the only company in the mobile space to deliver products that work with a stylus and actually appeal to consumers. Still, there have been rumblings that other mobile companies have decided to challenge the Galaxy Note and will show those products off at Mobile World Congress. Beating out the Galaxy Note line won't be easy, but it'll be nice to see companies trying.
    8 - Look for More Galaxy Note-Like Devices
  • Carriers Forming Internet of Things Partnerships

    Carriers always play a crucial role at Mobile World Congress, and this year, they're expected to talk quite a bit about integrating their networks into products that go beyond smartphones and tablets. The Internet of things could be a major growth opportunity for carriers, and it'll be something to keep an eye on this year during telco keynotes.
    9 - Carriers Forming Internet of Things Partnerships
  • Expect to See Low-Cost Mobile Devices for Emerging Markets

    Despite the popularity decline in feature phones, expect to see some of those devices showing up at Mobile World Congress. Alongside those handsets should be low-cost smartphones. That's because there are many people in developing countries around the world that can't afford the iPhone but want the opportunity to participate in mobile communication. They're often overlooked in an industry that is frequently focused on flashy devices, but emerging markets are vastly important to the average company's bottom line.
    10 - Expect to See Low-Cost Mobile Devices for Emerging Markets
  • Mobile Carriers Will Talk About Their LTE Service

    While Long Term Evolution (LTE) might be included in most devices today, it's just starting to prove its worth to carriers and device makers around the world. For one thing, the technology could offer an opportunity to do a better job of streaming television to handsets. LTE might also be an important component in the modernization of in-car Web technology. Simply put, LTE is extremely important. And it will be on display at Mobile World Congress.
    11 - Mobile Carriers Will Talk About Their LTE Service

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