MWC 2016-Day 2 Highlights

Welcome to Counterpoint Research’s portal of key announcements from Mobile World Congress 2016. This portal provides crisp bites of key announcements from MWC 2016 on smartphones, VR, AR, AI, wearable and many other related sectors.

Second day of Mobile World Congress has brought number of key announcements around Chipsets, Augmented Reality, Wearable and Smartphones. We will regularly post updates from MWC 2016.

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MWC 2016-The New Smartphone Line-up

Smartphone industry players such as Alcatel, ZTE, Sony, Obi, Gionee, Acer etc. launched a range of devices on Day 2 of MWC 2016. Currently the smartphone industry is fragmented, competition among Android vendors is fierce with few being able to create a sustainable advantage. In order to attempt some level of differentiation smartphone vendors are playing with hardware features endlessly in an endless series of upping the table stakes. Some players, for example Panasonic, are looking to ruggedization – as it did with its line of ruggedized notebook PCs. Others, for example, Haier are integrating fingerprint sensors into mid-range devices. Displays, cameras, fast charging are key focus area in smartphones launched at MWC 2016. However few if any of these will provide any meaningful differentiation or move the market share needle. 

Oppo to empower image stabilization of smartphone by its SmartSensor.


Oppo SmartSensor

Oppo SmartSensor

Oppo has been attempting to develop some differentiated positioning around imaging quality and capability. At MWC it presented its SmartSensor, which aims for superior optical image stabilization (OIS). Whether or not Oppo can readily demonstrate the benefits of its technology will be key to taking advantage of this investment. It’s not alone in claiming high quality smartphone photography – especially in higher-end devices. Furthermore OIS is a difficult aspect to demonstrate convincingly and quickly in a consumer sale situation, unlike, say, the Megapixel count – however irrelevant that is to the resulting image quality. However Oppo has been progressing strongly in market share terms and this will help it secure stronger overall positioning.

SanDisk Riding the USB Type-C bandwagon


SanDisk Extreme PRO

SanDisk announced two new products at MWC 2016. The first being a USB Type-C flash drive. With this SanDisk is banking on OEMs favoring devices with USB Type-C connectors this year. Although we will not see USB Type-C become standard this year but definitely a sharp increasing in the number of devices supporting USB Type-C will be seen. The second product SanDisk Extreme PRO microSDXC UHS-II card that are two memory cards, focusing on cameras, drones, smartphones and tablets. The cards are designed for faster transfer rate of up to 275 MB per second that is three times of its predecessors.

MediaTek targets healthcare applications of Wearable.


MediaTek Bio-Sensor Chip - MT2511

MediaTek Bio-Sensor Chip – MT2511

MediaTek had a quiet MWC. However it did present the MT2511 bio sensor chip with a special focus on healthcare and fitness applications of wearable industry. Healthcare applications contribute significantly in wearable application industry. Hence, MediaTek targeted mobile health monitoring in wearable vertical. There are various industry players, which are offering health assistance in their devices present in wearable segment. Partnerships and joint ventures are expected by MediaTek, to aggressively enter in this market.

Epson presents Moverio BT-300.


Epson Moverio BT-300

Epson launched Moverio BT-300 AR glasses at MWC 2016. It created a differentiation in its AR product by enabling it to project on both eyes with accurate 3D imaging. AR as an industry is still in an early phase. The promise is to deliver enhanced capabilities in a number of, principally, enterprise verticals. Epson’s key competitors are Microsoft with HoloLens, Atheer Labs and Magic Leap. The difficulty in making this type of product a reality is huge — especially around the optics.

Oppo showcased it SuperVOOC fast charger.

Oppo-SuperVOOC Fast Charging System

Oppo-SuperVOOC Fast Charging System

Oppo showcased its SuperVOOC fast charging system at MWC 2016. This fast charging system has capacity to charge smartphone to more than 45% in five minutes. With this product, Oppo is competing against Samsung Fast Charger, Motorola’s TurboPower, MediaTek’s PumpExpress+ etc. Fast charging capacity is becoming a key selling point in premium smartphones to overcome the issues power consumption as devices get used more or more extensively for high power applications such as a video watching and game play.

Haier introduces portfolio of Smart Watches.

Haier-Smart Watch

Haier-Smart Watch

Haier unveiled all metal smart watches at MWC 2016. Wearables becoming the next fashion accessory, OEMs are trying to differentiate their products with cutting edge design, making a fashionable appeal to the consumers. Haier will be competing in this segment with established players such as Apple, Samsung, Sony and Motorola.