But tradeshows like MWC and CES are starting to lose some of their luster as the industry undergoes a paradigm shift towards companies hosting independent events to launch their new devices. There may still be a few surprises to be had at this year’s MWC – including some interesting software presences – but as far as smartphones are concerned, this year it’s more about what we’re not going to see than what we are going to see. Let’s do a quick rundown:
Though Samsung disappointingly revealed earlier this year that the Galaxy S IV would not be making its debut at MWC, there are other, albeit less credible, rumblings about additional reveals from the Korean giant. Some of these rumors include a 5.8-inch Android smartphone, but nothing more specific than that has been revealed. If anything it sounds like Samsung will be focusing more on the tablet front, something you can read more about over on our sister site, TabletPCReview.
HTC, meanwhile, made its big reveal earlier this week on Tuesday. During events held simultaneously in New York and London, HTC unveiled its new One smartphone, sporting a new version of its Sense overlay and an improved camera.
LG has also already revealed its next big-name handsets, including the Optimus F7, the Optimus F5, and the Optimus G Pro, but they will be making their first major public appearances at MWC. Scheduled for a Q2 release in the United States, the Optimus G Pro joins the Samsung Galaxy Note II in the “phablet” ranks, thanks to its massive 5.5-inch, 400 ppi, full HD display. Other highlights of the phone include dual recording for its two cameras and a removable 3,140mAh battery that supports wireless charging. No news yet on the release timeframe for the 4.7-inch F7 and 4.3-inch F5.
In all likelihood, Sony won’t have anything new to offer at MWC given that it unveiled its flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z, at CES in January. Some have suggested that Sony may follow the same launch plan as it did last year, in which it unveiled the Xperia S at CES and then used MWC to launch smaller versions of essentially the same phone. However, this also seems like a somewhat unlikely course of action given that the Xperia Z already has a little brother, the Xperia ZL, which was launched at the same time.
There’s no word yet on any specifics that we can expect from Nokia, but it was widely publicized when the company chose to pass on exhibiting at CES, supposedly so it could focus on its MWC plans. Nokia also has its own press event scheduled on the morning of the first day of the show, so it appears that it is poised to make at least one significant reveal. The timing makes enough sense; it’s been almost 6 months since the company’s last major reveals, the Lumia 920 and 820.
With the exception of a couple of maybes from Samsung and Nokia – and barring any crazy, out-of-left-field surprises – we already know what smartphones to expect going into this year’s MWC. This is somewhat due to some reveals taking place earlier this year at CES, but the bigger detractor is the fact that more and more companies are beginning to hold their own, separate events to announce their new devices.
With companies like HTC and LG taking it upon themselves to unveil their new flagship devices prior to the show, there isn’t a whole lot left for us to expect in the way of reveals once MWC finally rolls around. As such, it’s probably important for us to temper our expectations going in, since there won’t be a wealth of previously unannounced devices. It is possible, however, that we’re wrong, so here’s hoping that we’re pleasantly surprised.