Mobile World Congress 2015: 12 things to look out for at MWC - The people and devices

 
Lynsey Barber
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All things mobile will be happening in Barcelona from 1 March (Source: Getty)

We may have been treated to a glimpse of the future, apparently filled with curved TVs and flexible phones, when the biggest electronics firms revealed their latest gadgets at CES, but there’s much more to come.

Mobile World Congress is another one of the biggest events of the year in the tech calendar - and when it kicks off on 2 March, it’s all about mobile

That means new smartphones, tablets and wearables - but also a lot of insight from many interesting people working in the ever-expanding world of mobile.

The devices

1. Samsung is by far the biggest deal at MWC, as it’s slated to launch its latest flagship smartphone model - the Galaxy S6. The Korean firm is hosting a big event on the Sunday night before the event kicks-off in full called “Unpacked”. This is the curvy teaser sent out about it.

2. Without Apple, Samsung are the biggest talking point when it comes to devices, and rival smartphone maker LG knows this. That’s why the brand unveiled four different mid-range android smartphones and the LG Watch Urbane smartwatch a week before the event even gets started.

3. Taiwanese firm HTC has no such qualms and also has an event on the Sunday. Everyone’s expecting the One M9 and One M9 Plus smartphones to be revealed. There are also rumours of a smartwatch.

4. Most notable for having a controversial ad pulled from the air this week, the previously little-known British mobile-maker Kazam don’t have a launch slated and are by no means on the scale of the Samsungs of the mobile world (yet, anyway) but they are ones to keep an eye on what with courting controversy and hitting the spotlight this week.

5. Google are not usually one’s to make a big song and dance in Barcelona, preferring their own events rather like Apple. This year at MWC, we might get to see the tech giant’s innovative modular smartphone, Project Ara.

Here’s why that’s exciting.

6. Forget smartphones for a minute - Huawei is going big on wearables at MWC according to the chatter. All things point to an android-based smartwatch.We’ll find out on the Sunday with this one too.

7. There’s no more Nokia at MWC since it got snapped up by Microsoft. But that means Microsoft will be heading for the event which is not usually a thing in Satya Nadella’s calendar. It’s due to make a reveal on the first day of the conference on the Monday.

The people

8. Mark Zuckerberg will return to Barcelona on Monday for a keynote speech. That takes place at 6pm (5pm GMT). The Facebook founder will likely talk about his other baby, internet.org, his mission to brings the internet (and Facebook) to millions more people around the world - and mobile is a major part of that.

9. Will.I.Am will be there (it’s not tech conference without him, these days), but it’s not all about the star-studded line-up. There are some heavyweight business leaders attending.

10. That includes top telecoms chiefs, including Vodafone’s Vittorio Colao, Telefonica’s Cesar Alierta, EE’s Olaf Swantee and Deutsche Telekom’s Timotheus Hottges.

11. Hugo Barra of upstart mobile-maker Xiaomi and formerly of Google will be talking mobile content, Blackberry COO Marty Beard will be chatting about enterprise and top execs from Pinterest, Twitter, Flickr will also be speaking.

12. There’ll also be folk from some of the biggest financial institutions speaking on such juicy matters as contactless payment, mobile retail, virtual marketplaces, the evolution of financial services and how banks can innovate and industry M&A. They include executives from Visa, Citi, HSBC, Mastercard and Barclays.

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