MWC 2016: What We Can Expect from Mobile Giants

What We Wish to See at the Mobile World Congress this Year

February 04, 2016

Update on February 26, 2016: MWC 2016: Virtual Reality Goes Mobile

The Mobile World Congress, one of the largest mobile trade shows, is coming very soon this year. Scheduled to be held from 22-25 February, 2016, in Barcelona, this event is organized by GSMA annually and is a place where we get to witness some of the most major handset and other mobile device launches.

Needless to say, each year presents many surprises and no amount of sleuthing prior to the event can reveal the entire picture. However, considering some news and rumors floating around in the mobile market, the following is what we can expect to see, from the major players, at the MWC 2016. 

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Mobile World Congress 2016
Image © MWC 2016.

Microsoft has paired up with Chinese OEM Xiaomi for some time now. The giant has created a Windows 10 Mobile ROM, built especially to run on their Mi 4 handset. In turn, the Chinese company has introduced several Windows 10 tablets. The latest buzz we hear is that Xiaomi is in the process of releasing a Windows 10 Mobile version of their soon-to-arrive Mi 5 device.

The device is rumored to be identical to the Mi 5 and include a powerful Snapdragon 820 processor as well. It is believed that it will be introduced simultaneously in China as well as the MWC 2016, on February 24. Additionally, news is that the giant may be expanding its existing line of devices, with an entry-level Lumia 650, a mid-range Lumia 750 and even a possible Lumia 850.

This is all just a rumor right now. However, teaming up with Xiaomi could well prove to be a big break for Microsoft, which could enjoy the lion’s share of a market as big as China. We are waiting with bated breath to know what happens on this front. 

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Sony Mobile

Sony has been introducing innovative gadgets quite regularly and also featured a few new devices at the IFA 2015. Hence, we probably will not see any major flagship model from this company at the MWC 2016. However, the company has issued invites to its MWC press conference on Monday, February 22. Industry experts believe that it may unveil its Xperia Z6 and also announce updates to its tablets and wearables.

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Google’s Android is always making news all around the world, particularly at every event. The giant is at present flying high with its Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) line of devices. Furthermore, the company already has its own Google I/O conference, which is usually held in May every year. That is probably when we can expect to see the release of Android N. Therefore, we do not expect any major announcement from the company at this specific event. 

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HTC had unveiled its One M9 at the MWC 2015. Sadly, it did not quite create the impact that it desired. In any case, we could expect the launch of HTC One M10/Perfume this year. There is some additional information that the company may announce a mid-range Desire T7 phablet at the mega event. 

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Samsung has officially stated that it would introduce its next Samsung Galaxy device at the MWC 2016. This is probably the Galaxy S7, along with the S7 Edge and the S7 Plus. Samsung, being a leading wearable brand, it could also be showing off a new sports-based wearable device and the Gear VR as well. Additionally, it is believed that the company may announce a new 360-degree camera, which has especially been created in order to capture VR content. 

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The main focus of Qualcomm is undoubtedly its most powerful Snapdragon 820 processor. While CES 2016 witnessed the company’s introduction of its new handset, the LeTV Le Max Pro, we expect to see much more from the tech giant at the MWC this year. Qualcomm is already powering several Wear OS devices. So we are hoping to see heightened power and performance from this company at the upcoming event. 

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LG has scheduled a press event on February 21 this year. The company usually does not launch any of its flagship models at the MWC, though it did feature its LG Watch Urbane at the event last year. At present, the focus is on the rumored release of the LG G5 device – this will supposedly prove to be a huge leap ahead for the company. LG had reported in January this year that it would be unveiling 2 new devices in 2016. So it is possible that they may feature in the MWC later this month.

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BlackBerry has kept a sort of low profile up until now. At the recently held CES 2016, the company had hinted that it would be introducing new Android devices this year. Some rumors suggest that it may come out with a budget Android phone, based on the Leap. It may even move its Passport device over to Android. That could lift the company and place it back in the competition.