|Visitors inspect Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy S smartphones on display at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 2012. (Bloomberg)|
The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is coming in less than 10 days with global telecoms and handset makers prepping to present their innovative technologies and gadgets.
Themed the “New mobile horizon,” local big names like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, as well as telecoms SK Telecom and KT, will take part in the world’s biggest mobile trade show from Feb. 25-28.
According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, the official partner for the show, three major trends to watch are the rise of 4G “phablets,” increased presence of Chinese brands, and devices moving beyond Google’s Android mobile operating system.
“We expect a large chunk of flagship LTE smartphones announced at the MWC 2013 to have screens of at least 5 inches in size,” it said. “Huawei and ZTE will have a major presence at the show. They will be keen to talk up their 3G and 4G offerings for hardware, software and services.”
Smartphones and tablet PCs running on Microsoft’s Windows 8 and possibly Tizen will be displayed throughout the show to grab visitors’ attention, it said.
The four-day mobile conference will also feature keynote sessions by a number of well-known industrial names such as Randall Stephenson, president and chief executive of AT&T, China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua, KT Corp. chief executive Lee Suk-chae, Kaoru Kato, president of NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm chairman Paul Jacobs and Vodafone chief Vittorio Colao.
In the keynote session on Feb. 26, KT’s Lee will discuss the future direction of telecoms such as the way into virtual goods and the need to move beyond telecom services, said Kim Yoon-jeung, a spokesperson for KT.
KT’s local rival SKT is planning to introduce next-generation communications networks such as LTE-A in line with the theme of the mobile trade show, its official said.
As for the Korean device manufacturers, Samsung will focus on its first 8-inch tablet named the Galaxy Note 8 as it is looking to strengthen its position in that particular sector this year.
The firm’s mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun said last month that the firm would launch the 8-inch device, which would most likely carry the S pen function, in Barcelona, while denying it would release a smartphone running on the Tizen OS at the trade show.
LG, on the other hand, will feature a new lineup of smartphones at the event that includes the new flagship Optimus G Pro, Optimus L Series, F Series and the Optimus Vu 2.
|LG’s Optimus G Pro|
The 5.5-inch Optimus G Pro, which will be launched by this month, is a follow-up model to the firm’s flagship Optimus G, which was put together by LGE and its affiliates. It is expected to be equipped with a quad-core applications processor and also a Full High Definition Display.
The handset is set to roll out in Korea, North America and Japan.
Another new lineup called the Optimus L Series II ― Optimus L3 II, Optimus L5 II and Optimus L7 II ― as well as budget LTE phones in the F Series will be available for display in Barcelona.
The makers say the L Series will show off four new design elements: a seamless layout, laser cut contours, radiant rear design and smart LED lighting on the home button.
The devices, all running on Google’s Android mobile operating system, have 3.2-inch, 4-inch and 4.3-inch displays and are equipped with high-capacity batteries, according to an LG official.
For the second L Series, a dual-SIM version of the 4.3-inch Optimus L7 II will be the first to roll out in Russia this Saturday, ahead of the Barcelona congress. A dual-SIM version enables the user to set up two different numbers on a single handset, such as one for work and one for personal use.
LG’s unique features like QuickMemo, which allows users to capture and share handwritten ideas with others, and Safety Care, which provides emergency call forwarding, phone non-usage notice and location notice, will also be available in the upcoming series, its company officials said.
Meanwhile, Japanese electronics maker Sony is expected to showcase a 6.44-inch phablet, while Huawei is also holding a press conference ahead of the MWC for possibly a phablet introduction as well as the world’s first smartphone equipped with an octa-core mobile application processor for improved processing power and lower energy use.
By Cho Ji-hyun (email@example.com