Published on March 7, 2014
MWC 2014 A recap of the key highlights, trends and announcements.
Index Introduction 3 Wearables and IoT 10 Mark Zuckerberg & internet access for all 4 Beacons & mobile payments 12 Key device announcements: Samsung 6 Mobile advertising 2.0 14 Key device announcements: Nokia 8
Introduction With more than 85,000 visitors from 201 countries, the 2014 Mobile World Congress set a new record for the mobile industry’s premier event. More than 1,800 exhibiting companies showcased cuttingedge 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 announcements. This year, the Mobile World Congress expanded to include a number of partner-led events at Fira Montjuïc (the previous MWC location in Barcelona), drawing more than 5,000 attendees. 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 & internet access for all Mark Zuckerberg used his keynote to communicate Facebook’s Already half a billion people use it for messaging. It’s the most vision to connect the entire planet through the Internet.org engaging app we’ve ever seen exist on mobile by far. About initiative. He also discussed the potential with Whatsapp to 70% of people who use WhatsApp, use it every day, which kind disrupt mobile communication including messaging and voice to of blows away everything else that’s out there.” be integrated. Zuckerberg said: “WhatsApp is a great fit for us. 4
What 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 won’t see advertising in WhatsApp for at least a few years to come. 5
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. 6
What 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. 7
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 won’t be available in the US, Canada, Korea and Japan in part to avoid competing with Lumia phones. 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. 8
What 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. 9
Wearables and IoT IoT and wearables were the most talked about topics at the congress – Procter & Gamble’s 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 in one. 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 Overall the range of devices presented was impressive, however, on fitness will help its appeal to fitness fanatics and geeks with the majority of them are not able to talk to each other nor Android devices. It’s still not a mainstream smartwatch and not provide open access. To make the devices truly life-enhancing, a fashion accessory as people expect the iWatch to be, but we we need to be able to combine the information from all expect to see some good traction. For brands, it could be good sources for a global picture. The other challenge is that PR to launch their apps early but don’t expect much traffic. developers find it hard enough to keep up with iOS, Android and Windows so launching additional OS and versions of OS will be The Huawei device is unexpectedly slick with a low price tag a limiting factor for developer support. (135 USD) so also has a good chance of gaining traction when it launches outside of China. 11
Beacons & mobile payments We visited a couple of companies including Indoo.rs, WiseSec, Wirecard, Nordic Semiconductor and Mobisfera to see how beacon technology can be used in different combinations. 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 monitor. Paypal showcased examples of hands-free mobile payments using beacons. 12
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. 13
Mobile advertising 2.0 Here are just a few of the interesting companies we met with: 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 targeting technology. 14
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. We’ve seen some very fast results for brands and apps in terms of ROI. 15
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