As the Mobile industry recovers from a crazy week in Barcelona here’s Mobile’s look at what happened and what it means going forward:
…the morning after
After a whirlwind week in Spain with so many significant launches the real question is how the rest of the world reacted to MWC? Were they as excited by the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy or HTC One M9 products as the industry appears to be. This will only be known for sure when the manufacturers start selling the devices.
Creating a buzz around a new product or product category is only the first part of the process, the real challenge lies in convincing the consumer to sign up to a new contract or buy the device outright.
This is no exact science to turning interest into sales and it’s hard to know what strategy works. Not many people would have predicted the huge take up of the iPhone 6, but it was a huge success. As for the MWC’s products the mobile industry will be hoping that it looked as good from the outside as it felt from the inside.
Mobile by name alone
An overriding theme at MWC was whether the industry needs to re-define what ‘mobile’ means; both as a product category and as a way of living. The smartphone classification no longer exists in isolation and much of the talk at MWC was about how experience precedes product for most consumers.
Upgrades need to be sold in new ways as traditional hardware and software categories are eroded. It was noticeable that several big industry players floated new revenue streams at the event.
The smartphone or tablet as the enabler of a ‘mobile’ lifestyle is no longer a new idea it’s an expectation. The connection on its own is not enough anymore, it’s about what you can do with it. application
New concepts are definitely needed, but it is healthy that the conversations have begun.
The shadow of Silicon Valley
From the green robots invading the stands at MWC to the absence of the world’s most profitable phone manufacturer you couldn’t help but acknowledge that a significant amount of power in the mobile world now lies in the hands of Californian technology giants.
The presence of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg discussing new mobile operator revenue models was even more than ironic considering his company bought free messaging app WhatsApp since his appearance last year. The discussion was a relevant one and highlighted once again how the internet continues to present challenges to traditional mobile industry revenue models. This was given even more relevance as Google announced its plans for an MVNO.
How these Californian companies act over the next year will impact the industry massively, and it will interesting to see how it all plays out.