5 things we learned from Mobile World Congress

The annual high profile trade show for the mobile industry took place a couple of weeks ago. Kate Magee and Peter Bowles, creative MD at tech agency Dynamo, look at the key ideas to emerge from the conference.

Image from RealWire
Image from RealWire

1. The rise of Android

Last year Google had one of the biggest stands for Android, featuring Google smoothies, slides and sandwiches. This year it was more omnipresent - no stands, but it held one of the coolest parties outside the event, with Tinie Tempah and Florence + the Machine performing.

Most manufacturers had their own Android device and seemed to be releasing big screen devices with much better specifications than the iPhone 5. For Google it may be a case of 'job done' on the trade show front. Now it's about making the Android brand less geeky and more mainstream from a comms point of view. Apple should expect a fight in the next 12 months, particularly in Europe.

2. Huawei reaching number three in the market

MWC also showcased other resurgent brands, such as Sony, which seems to have a much clearer direction now. The talk of the show, however, was Huawei, which as a Chinese brand had massive presence in multiple halls at the show. I expect to see much more of this brand in the next 18 months as it truly 'grows up' in Europe and takes on Samsung over here.

3. The lack of major announcements

Journalists complained that there appeared to be a lack of news. I think lots of brands, such as HTC, shunned the show to avoid clashing with a major Samsung announcement, which never really came. Journalists at Engadget told me that they felt the congress may be going back to its trade show roots a bit more.

4. New venue - more purposebuilt, but less glamorous

It was much easier navigating your way from hall to hall this year, and faster than the old location. That said, PR professionals and their clients complained about the lack of glamour in the new venue. It felt far more corporate, like CES, and, unlike last year, you didn't finish the day over a beer in front of some of Barcelona's architectural highlights.

5. Not all launches go to plan

LG had a pretty embarrassing launch at MWC, hampered by multiple faulty microphones and an underpowered amp. A great lesson in why every PR professional should think about the little details for a launch and have a back-up speaker. At Dynamo we're making this mandatory for all our launches - the LG Optimus launch showed why this approach is a practical must as a senior exec had to turn himself into a market stall trader, shouting over the din of the show.

PLUS ... A NOKIA COMEBACK?

According to Lissted, Nokia was the media's most-tweeted brand during MWC. It launched a £13 phone that has a battery life of one month. 'We could look back at this as a seminal moment in Nokia's comms and broader market strategy to halt its recent trajectory, and I'll be very interested to see how it uses comms to reposition its brand. 2013 could be its year,' says Christian Sharp, account director at Rocket, part of the Octopus Group.

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