Things we learned from Mobile World Congress 2016

Things we learned from Mobile World Congress 2016

Now that the dust has settled on another hectic Mobile World Congress Mobile decided to have a look at what we learned from the event in Barcelona.


Lack of flagship fanfare

There were no shortages of flagship launches at this year’s show, the problem was they failed to generate the same level of excitement as they had done in previous years. Perhaps the anticipation that this quarter will see a slowdown in sales for some of the largest brands had tempered the mood slightly. Or maybe it was the fact that there didn’t seem to be a major risk taken by anyone launching a product. Mark Zuckerberg headline billing at the S7 launch definitely detracted attention from the product and certainly didn’t enthuse attendees in the same way. That’s not to say that many of the new devices didn’t impress parts of the industry, but the energy of previous years was not there.



Part of the reason why the flagships didn’t generate the same levels of excitement was due to a focus from some of the big name brands on adjacent product areas. Nobody is quite clear how the virtual reality product category will fit within mobile, and as it develops whether it will be relevant at an event like Mobile World Congress. At the moment the connection between VR and mobile for products such as the Samsung Gear VR is clear. However the link between the phone and VR is a lot more tenuous than the connection to wearables, which was the last major hype product. They way in which manufacturers explain the link to consumers will be critical.


Smaller stands out?

When there appears to be a lack of ground-breaking innovation on some of the larger stands the best place to venture is to the smaller companies at the show. This year as ever was awash with exciting new companies all looking to show off products and services to the hordes. It’s been pointed out on a number of occasions that significantly successful products such as GoPro or Fitbit have exploded onto the scene from the leftfield. Whether this year’s show laid the groundwork for another breakout product is as yet unknown, but it’s clear that it can be done.


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