Telecoms.com periodically invites third party commentators to give us their verdict on the current state of play of the market. In this piece, Dean Anthony Gratton writes about his expectations ahead of Mobile World Congress 2017.
So, CES has passed – did anyone notice or was it just me? Yep, that’s right! Another year filled with lacklustre malarkey, probably at the expense of those who attended, right?
Piquing interest with rumours
I don’t necessarily want to be the harbinger of sombre news but, short of new displays and the surfacing of augmented and virtual reality cupcakes, nothing else happened, which leads me quite nicely to this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona where, I hope, we’ll see a lot more singing and dancing!
I’m not sure how far I should stretch out my ‘mystic meg’ stick here (eesh, awkward!) but, anyway, let’s start with the rumours surrounding Microsoft. Whether purely idle insider mutterings, industry gossip or yet more fake news, I have to admit to looking forward to the alleged announcement of Microsoft’s new Surface Phone – I so, so hope it’s true! In contrast, Apple won’t give a rat’s arse because, well they’re Apple aren’t they and the world must simply listen and obey – ironic really, since their 1984 advert junked the norm with their vision of an Orwellian-themed future. That said, leaked images of their new iPhone 8 (*yawn) have already populated a multitude of technology news websites. Coincidence? Perhaps not!
Who are the usual suspects?
So, who can we expect to showcase their new bling this year?
Well, Google have to undoubtedly make an appearance, since their first-generation Pixel seems to be in desperate need of an update, according to numerous reports. I’m sure you already know that, in the case of Google, its first-generation product bolstered early adoptors who, in turn, fuelled the ethos for others to adopt the Google brand, whilst financing the Pixel second generation. As such, we can surely expect a much-improved model and, dare I say, a ‘Pixel 2’.
The ‘Meh’ crowd
Scratching my head now – who else? Erm, well… Samsung, of course! No surprises here, I guess, since we have already been privy to the Galaxy S8 in some supposedly leaked video – yeah, right! In fairness to Samsung, they have shaken off the copycat label and have found their own niche, which is a good thing, although the choice of an exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in GTA 5 was hilarious! We have been assured by Samsung that the issue has been resolved and it is business as usual.
But then you have, if you like, the ‘Z-lister’ line-up: You know, the likes of LG, Sony, Philips and Alcatel, that is, companies you don’t ordinarily associate with a smartphone or tablet. Yep, ‘blah’ – there, I’ve said it, ‘Meh’!
Yes, I am guilty of being attracted to the popular phone or tablet but, that being said, I do have a Microsoft Lumia 950XL, which is riskily signed up to the Windows Insider programme. Yep, so making and receiving calls and sending texts are made on a ‘trial and error’ basis.
Until next time…
Now HTC, on the other hand, you know, the same manufacturer of Google’s Pixel has been unusually quiet of late. Yes, I have that burning, itchy feeling (don’t go there) that something might be revealed – so my sources say! And, Huawei, for that matter (try pronouncing that after a few glasses of red!) might ripple the water with some announcements at this year’s congress. Huawei is the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer and they also manufacture smartphones, including the Mate 9 and the P series, as well as the Media Pad. Again, rumours are circulating, suggesting Huawei will announce their next generation smartphone, the P10, at this year’s MWC. In recent news, it was reported that Apple are somewhat nervous of Huawei’s feature packed smartphone, which has piqued my interest, so I shall be taking exhaustive notes!
So, how exactly will I be taking notes? Well, all is not lost since I will have first-hand access to all the shenanigans at this year’s MWC as I will be attending – Ha! Yes, I shall be roaming the aisles with an all-knowing insight; shimmying with the people that know a thing or two and rubbing shoulders with the people that matter in order to report my findings in next month’s column!
So, this is where a ‘fedora-wearing’ Dr G signs off.
Dr Dean Anthony Gratton is a bestselling author and columnist, and has worked extensively within the wireless communications R&D industry. His wireless research work has been patented. You can contact Dean via his website, and follow him on Twitter (@grattonboy) to enjoy his risqué humour, witty shenanigans, social media and technology-related tweets. You can also read more about his work at deangratton.com.