It’s 2013 and the annual Mobile World Congress is quickly approaching, beginning on Tuesday morning (Australian time). Will we see transparent phones that wrap around our wrists with a mini projector capable of playing Crysis on ultra setting? Probably not (although that would be awesome!). But MWC will deliver a preview into the next 12 months of mobile devices. At last year’s conference we saw Nokia unleash its 41MP Pureview beast , HTC announced its One series and LG even hit us with their 4X HD. MWC is the single most exciting time of the year in the mobile world and it’s coming right at us next week, so what will we see in 2013?
What’s already been announced
A few of the big guns have already announced some big products before MWC including HTC, LG and Blackberry. Blackberry announced their Z10 and Q10 devices running their new operating system hoping to get back into the smart phone market and remain relevant. HTC and LG both announced their 2013 flagship devices, the HTC One and the LG Optimus G Pro. Chipset makers have also announced some of their 2013 lineup with Nvidia and its Tegra 4 chipset and Qualcomm announced it’s first global LTE chipset and lower end snapdragon 400 and 200 processors.
What we will see
Ever since Samsung announced its first Galaxy Note device the term ‘phablet’ has become increasingly popular, I can see this being a trend at this years MWC – expect to see lots of devices with 5 inch+ screen sizes. This year will be a big year for the two Chinese big guns, Huawei and ZTE with ZTE already hinting at a release of a Firefox OS device.There’s been rumours of Huawei releasing an octa-core device (yes, 8 freaking cores in a mobile!) and ZTE is expected to release an even bigger version of its Grand S phablet device.
Asus could prove to have something quite interesting to announce with rumours surrounding them of an Intel based Padfone device that teases the number ‘8’. Sadly though, I think the 8 is more a symbol of infinity like their current line of tablets rather than that of Windows 8. Samsung is expected to release its Galaxy Note 8 as a direct competitor to the iPad mini and a few mid range devices too.
Nokia made a big splash last year with its 41MP camera, this year, however, I expect Nokia to use their booth to launch some budget Asha handsets and some mid range Lumia’s. There have been rumours of Nokia releasing a tablet devices, I think that will be unlikely though. Alcatel is looking to release 13 smartphones at this years conference so we could very well see some surprising devices from them to add to the table.
What we won’t see
Google. Yes, for the first time since Google has had Android they won’t be at this years conference, which frankly makes me feel a tad empty. Samsung used MWC to unveil its first Galaxy device back in 2010 but last year it ditched that to hold its own conference to unveil its massively popular Galaxy S flagship and it’ll be that way this year too. Nokia, having just released its flagship Lumia 920 at the end of 2012 won’t be unveiling any flagship Windows Phone 8 devices either and as usual Apple won’t be at attendance so don’t expect any iDevices to be announced.
Even though there have been quite a few pre-show announcements there is still quite a bit of mystery surrounding it, and I’m quite excited about it all so stay tuned to techAU this week for all the announcements.