MWC 2016-Day 1 Highlights

Welcome to Counterpoint Research’s portal of key announcements from Mobile World Congress 2016. We are focusing on MWC 2016 news around smartphones, VR, AR, AI, wearable and many other related industries.

Looking at the first day of Mobile World Congress; Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Smartphones were the key focus area. We will regularly keep you posted on key announcements from MWC 2016.

For any suggestion and query, please feel free to contact us at analyst(at) .

Samsung, Nokia & LG strengthening their VR portfolio.

360 degree camera MWC 2016

Samsung, LG and others showcased their VR cameras/goggles at MWC 2016. The key objective of these launches is to offer customers more immersive experiences in image/video recording. These products can help users generate and share immersive videos and images on social websites. The impact of such launches will be the generation of more and more pre-VR content. Integration of VR cameras/goggles with smartphone is the key to enhance the reach of this market. Thus, to achieve upper-hand in this competition smartphone players will use “VR enabled communication devices” as a solid differentiating factor. Nokia’s OZO is aimed at professional content makers. It’s $60k price tag will make it prohibitively expensive for consumer users. OZO was launched in 2015 but was shown on the Nokia stand at MWC.

It’s a Laptop, It’s a Tablet, It’s a Hybrid.

2-in-1 Hybrid MWC 2016

Alcatel enters the high-growth Hybrid PC space with the Plus 10 Tablet, a Windows 10 2-in-1 hybrid model with 1.92 GHz Intel Atom processor and 2GB of RAM, and only 32GB of internal memory (expandable via microSD up to 64GB). The tablet can be attached to the keyboard at a fixed angle. It can be removed and positioned in a reverse position for content consumption. The tablet can also be stored with the keyboard in a transportable format where both screen and keyboard are protected. From a specification and functional perspective, Alcatel is more value-focused with casual laptop users the target rather than a total replacement of laptop for day to day use. The keyboard contains an LTE modem, however the tablet part is WiFi only.

Huawei announced its Mate Book, a lightweight slim fanless hybrid comes with Mate Pen similar to the Microsoft Surface Pen for Surface Pro or Apple’s Pencil for the iPad Pro. The Huawei Mate Pen sports 2048 levels of touch sensitivity, a polymer tip. It also doubles as laser pointer and presentation controller. Mate Book runs both the Home and Pro editions of Windows 10 and is powered by 6th generation Intel Core M3, M5, or M7 processors. Huawei has embedded the fingerprint sensor from the Mate 8, placing it on the side of the tablet device between the volume rocker. Overall it is a well thought out products that should concern players like Lenovo, though announced pricing was relatively high especially when considering the highest power options.

LG’s new bet-going modular with G5. 

LG G5 MWC 2016

LG announced a new flagship model, the G5. This is one of the more remarkable products announced at MWC thanks to its modular design. The removable chassis and battery enable LG to extend the device with a range of snap on accessories. Two that were prominently shown were a camera grip (Cam Plus) with hardware buttons to control the shutter and zoom and an additional battery, and a Bang and Olufsen DAC. LG will release the hardware interface spec to allow other accessory makers to innovate around the platform. This looks like a smart move.

In addition LG introduced 360 VR headset, which was different from devices like the Samsung Gear VR in that it plugs into the phone rather than the other way round. Another device that grabbed attention was LG Rolling Bot, which is a surveillance camera bot, that looks like a rolling ball controlled by the flagship phone.

LG has fallen short in marketing compared to Samsung and in brand value compared to Apple. The integration of these accessories is a way to differentiate itself in the premium segment.

CAT launched thermal camera based smartphone for engineers & emergency service professionals.

CAT Flir MWC 2016

CAT a popular name in heavy machinery industry, showcased its thermal camera based smartphone S60 in MWC 2016. The thermal camera from FLIR System has been integrated in this smartphone. Target audience of this device is emergency services professionals, engineers, construction and many more. According to existing specification estimated price of S60 should be $550+, which is almost $200 more than Flir One (thermal imaging product from Flir). Thus, to gain maximum market hold, CAT has to skim the price of this device to make this smartphone an ideal choice for its targeted audience.

Sony targeted voice recognition & AI sector to compete with Amazon & Motorola .

Sony announced a line of new accessories like Xperia Ear, Xperia Eye, Xperia Projector and Xperia Agent at MWC 2016. Aside from Xperia Ear, most of the products are at the concept stage at this point with no defined launch dates. Xperia Agent has some similarities with Amazon Echo and is targeting voice recognition/assistance. In order to compete with Amazon’s Echo and Motorola’s Hint, Sony will have to focus strongly on functionality and consumer benefits. Price and distribution will also be key. Unlike Amazon, Sony does not have a substantial online retail operation to allow some level of price offset.

Nokia trying to make IoT & connected devices its forte

Nokia is acquiring Nakina Systems to strengthen its network security portfolio. In MWC 2016, Nokia explained about its interest in IoT. With funding of $350 Mn, Nokia is planning to spearhead IoT and related ecosystems. The focus area of Nokia in IoT is diverse in range from connected enterprise to digital health. This acquisition, following a long relationship with Nakina, is a clear indicator of Nokia’s intent to enhance its market position in IoT and connected devices sector.