Mobile World Congress 2012: 10 Hot Mobile Trends to Watch

NEWS ANALYSIS: Mobile World Congress is in full swing, and so far, big displays, Android and high-powered processors reign supreme. However, there are plenty of questions about Windows Phone and Nokia.

The 2012 Mobile World Congress is in full swing in Barcelona, Spain. Just about every major company, including Google, Motorola, Samsung, HTC and Sony, are showing off their smartphones and tablets, hoping to impress the consumers they plan to attract later this year. Notably missing from the show is Apple, which has historically balked at joining in the fun, deciding instead to hold its own event.

Still, even without Apple in attendance, Mobile World Congress is shaping up to be a landmark event where countless vendors show off products that will tell us what the future will look like in the mobile space. From bigger displays to Android everywhere, it appears a host of trends are developing at Mobile World Congress that could impact your decision-making over the next year.

Here's a look at what trends in smartphones, tablets and business mobility are emerging at this year's Mobile World Congress.

1. Bigger is better

There's no question larger displays are more desirable this year than smaller screens. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Note with a 5-inch display now looks out of date. However, the company unveiled a 10.1-inch Galaxy Note at Mobile World Congress this year, which is giving customers a reason to re-examine the device. Add that to LG's giant Optimus 4X HD and the Sony Xperia P's 4-inch screen, and it quickly becomes clear that smaller displays are so 2011.

2. Android galore

Where can't you find Android devices on the floor at Mobile World Congress? Every major vendor, including LG, Samsung, Sony and Motorola, is offering Android-based handsets and tablets, while other operating systems, like Windows Phone 7, are left to hope for more love next year.

3. Microsoft needs Nokia€”desperately

Speaking of Windows Phone 7, it appears Microsoft will rely quite heavily on Nokia this year. Although HTC has said it won't turn its back on Windows Phone 7 and other companies are starting to dabble in the operating system, Nokia's announcement of the Lumia 610 and Lumia 900 seems to prove that the handset maker is still the world's top Windows Phone 7 vendor.

4. Dual- and quad-core processors are everything

The days of single-core processors are officially behind us. At nearly every stop at Mobile World Congress, attendees can find devices boasting Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual-core processor or the company's Tegra 3 quad-core chip. In fact, LG's Optimus 4X HD comes with Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor. Expect Apple to include a quad-core chip of its own in its upcoming iPad 3.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...