mwc 2014- key highlights, trends and announcements
Post on 15-Jul-2015
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A recap of the key highlights, trends and announcements.
Mark Zuckerberg & internet access for all
Key device announcements: Samsung
Key device announcements: Nokia
Wearables and IoT
Beacons & mobile payments
Mobile advertising 2.0
IntroductionWith more than 85,000 visitors from 201 countries, the
2014 Mobile World Congress set a new record for the
mobile industrys premier event.
More than 1,800 exhibiting companies showcased cutting-
edge products and services across 98,000 square metres
of exhibition and hospitality space, spread over 8 halls.
Upwards of 3,800 international media and industry
analysts also attended the event reporting on key industry
This year, the Mobile World Congress expanded to include a
number of partner-led events at Fira Montjuc (the previous
MWC location in Barcelona), drawing more than 5,000
Events hosted included mPowered Industries, EyeforTravel,
Mobile Media Summit, the WIPJam and GSMA DEVCON
and HACKATHON, as well as 4 Years From Now (4YFN), a
mobile entrepreneurship and innovation event created by
Mobile World Capital.3
Mark Zuckerberg used his keynote to communicate Facebooks
vision to connect the entire planet through the Internet.org
initiative. He also discussed the potential with Whatsapp to
disrupt mobile communication including messaging and voice to
be integrated. Zuckerberg said: WhatsApp is a great fit for us.
Already half a billion people use it for messaging. Its the most
engaging app weve ever seen exist on mobile by far. About
70% of people who use WhatsApp, use it every day, which kind
of blows away everything else thats out there.
Mark Zuckerberg& internet access for all
5What we think
We think that Internet.org will help connect more people, grow
Facebook to 2 billion active users over the next year and
Whatsapp will prove to compete with Skype and other VoIP
services as well as mobile operators voice services over time.
WhatsApp may disrupt the market for voice calls but we wont
see advertising in WhatsApp for at least a few years to come.
Key device announcements:Samsung
The consensus is that Samsung stole the show at MWC
with no less than 3 new wearable devices and the Samsung
Galaxy S5. A quick recap of the Galaxy S5 specs include
a harder and more premium-feel shell, faster processor,
bigger screen, higher resolution, faster and better camera,
water resistance, enhanced battery life, faster Wifi and 4G,
health tracker as well as a fingerprint scanner.
7What we think
Just like the iPhone 5S, this is an evolution rather than a
revolution but nevertheless, the device surpassed most of our
expectations. Rather than loading it with lots of new features,
Samsung has done a great job taking a fantastic device to
the next level in every single way. One of the most exciting
functions was that the fingerprint scanner also enables payment
authentication. The S5 will be a winner in 2014.
Key device announcements:Nokia - Nokia X
Nokia scored a hat trick releasing three devices that run
on Android. The Nokia X for $122 with a 4-inch screen,
Nokia X+ with an SD card at $136 and Nokia XL with a
5-inch screen, 5 megapixel camera and 2-mega pixel front
facing camera at $149. They wont be available in the US,
Canada, Korea and Japan in part to avoid competing with
Nokia also announced two even cheaper phones including
the Nokia 220 which comes with Facebook, Twitter and
some games, meant as a starter phone for $40 and Asha
230 with more offers for apps at $62.
9What we think
We are very impressed by the amount of smartphone for money
you get with Nokia X. It has a lot of potential to do well in
developing countries which make up a huge segment of global
smartphone growth. The question is whether Nokia still has the
brand and distribution power to strike back with these devices.
Brands targeting emerging markets should definitely plan on
supporting this device.
Wearables and IoTIoT and wearables were the most talked about topics at
the congress Procter & Gambles Oral B launched and
showcased a connected toothbrush. The device gives
personalised advice and helps users improve their brushing
via the help of an app which the device connects to by
Bluetooth 4.0. The Fitbit fitness band became the wearable
of the congress itself with a great many attendees sporting
one throughout MWC week.
The Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo both have heart rate
sensors, pedometers and various tools to measure exercise,
sleep and stress levels. The other difference vs the original
Gear is that they now run the Tizen OS rather than Android.
Huawei on the other hand launched the TalkBand B1 which
is a smartwatch, fitness tracker and bluetooth earpiece all
Motorola launched its MotoACTV to track work-out stats
through a pedometer and GPS, and may be showing the
trend for wearables to come - a smartwatch that resembles
more a piece of jewellery rather than ugly tech.10
What we think
The Samsung Gear 2 is a major improvement and the focus
on fitness will help its appeal to fitness fanatics and geeks with
Android devices. Its still not a mainstream smartwatch and not
a fashion accessory as people expect the iWatch to be, but we
expect to see some good traction. For brands, it could be good
PR to launch their apps early but dont expect much traffic.
The Huawei device is unexpectedly slick with a low price tag
(135 USD) so also has a good chance of gaining traction when it
launches outside of China.
Overall the range of devices presented was impressive, however,
the majority of them are not able to talk to each other nor
provide open access. To make the devices truly life-enhancing,
we need to be able to combine the information from all
sources for a global picture. Theother challenge is that
developers find it hard enough to keep up with iOS, Android and
Windows so launching additional OS and versions of OS will be
a limiting factor for developer support.
Beacons &mobile paymentsWe visited a couple of companies including Indoo.rs,
WiseSec, Wirecard, Nordic Semiconductor and Mobisfera
to see how beacon technology can be used in different
Indoo.rs presented a strong solution for indoor mapping,
navigation and communication.
WiseSec showed how Beacons and BLE can be used in
solutions that require a high level of security.
Wirecard had a demo of how Beacons can be used as a
payment enabler in stores/restaurants.
Nordic Semiconductor showed various examples of BLE
used for glasses, hearing aides and a low energy heart
Paypal showcased examples of hands-free mobile
payments using beacons.
What we think
Apple rolling out its specifications for iBeacons while
simultaneously beginning to certify devices that use the
technology through its MFi program will help hardware
manufactures improve credibility for use of the standard.
However, Golden Gekko expected more in terms of demos and
show cases. The lack of bigger companies in this space
shows that the technology is still relatively immature.
Mobile advertising 2.0Here are just a few of the interesting companies we
Fiksu: Top providers for optimisation of app download
advertising across publishers / ad networks.
AdBrain: Tool provider for mobile advertising buying,
managing and optimisation across ad networks.
TAPCommerce: Engagement and retargeting advertising
related to mobile apps with social network integration.
MobileAppTracking: Platform for app marketers to
attribute app installs, in-app engagement and purchase
back to ad partners.
Airpush: High performance, exceptional ad formats and
What we think
Mobile banner ad formats are still alive and kicking but the
industry is changing faster and faster, with innovation coming
from only a small proportion of new startups. The traditional
media companies are historically slow to try new things, so
brands need to allocate a proportion of their budgets to
testing and driving innovation. Weve seen some very fast
results for brands and apps in terms of ROI.
Fighting for a world full of mobile solutionssince 2005
web www.goldengekko.com email [email protected]