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Mobile World Congress Approaches: Let the Smartphone Frenzy Begin

As mobile afficionados focus on MWC, smartphone fanatics are hearing about the rumored handsets that could become their new phones later this year.

Samsung, smartphone, Mobile World Congress

The huge Mobile World Congress event officially begins March 2 in Barcelona, Spain, but the rumors and reports that surround the conference never wait until opening day. They've already begun, which makes life interesting for smartphone and other device aficionados.

This year's conference, which runs through March 6, already has a rumor frenzy that is in full swing, along with fun teasing advertisements from some vendors, including T-Mobile US, which is joining Samsung to promote the March 1 unveiling of the next flagship Samsung smartphone , the rumored Samsung Galaxy S6.

That upcoming flagship smartphone was actually first mentioned by Samsung earlier in February, but the latest teaser from Samsung and T-Mobile features an image with a side view of a smartphone and the headline, "Six Appeal," an allusion to what will likely be called the Galaxy S6 (see image).

No other information is presented on the Web page teaser—no specifications, nor pricing or any other details. That's the fun of pre-event rumors. You are intrigued, but you don't know what will show up until it finally arrives. Samsung plans to live-stream its "Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2015" event that day to show off the next Galaxy phone.

Samsung launched its latest Galaxy S5 phone in early 2014, and then followed it up with a larger Galaxy Note 4 in September and its new Galaxy Note Edge smartphone in November, which includes a dramatic screen that curves around the right front edge of the phone, giving users a bit more screen real estate.

A successful launch for the next Galaxy will be important for Samsung, which continues to try to battle out of a slump caused by cheap smartphones from China and the release of the new and improved iPhone 6 models from Apple. Samsung has been losing market share and revenue to its rivals and is already in the midst of plans to pare back its model line and cut production costs to better compete.

But Samsung isn't the only early news out of MWC. HTC is also slated to unveil its new flagship HTC One M9 smartphone, which will follow its One M8 handset, according to details and leaked photos being reported by The (London) Telegraph. The new One M9 will include a 5-inch display, a 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, a 20MP rear-facing camera, 3GM of memory, 32GB of on-board storage, Android 5.0 Lollipop and a retail price around $850, the news story reported.

Ah, I love the smell and sight of new smartphones being unboxed and activated in the morning! I was lucky enough to be at MWC in Barcelona in February 2014 and still think about the immense size, scope and energy level at the event, which had multiple huge conference halls that were filled with vendor displays, new products, glitz and excitement.

This is the industry's passion for devices that makes it so much fun to follow smartphones and other mobile devices for eWEEK.