Last year we noticed that Mobile World Congress announcements were being made before the official start of the conference. And it appears that it’s no different this year either.
Let’s start with Facebook’s acquisition of popular mass messenger Whatsapp for $19bn. Despite all the hype around the price paid for the app, it’s notable that this was announced just a few days before Mark Zuckerberg takes his slot as keynote speaker at the biggest mobile device conference in the world. In addition, it demonstrates the value that SMS and text messaging still have in a world dominated by data and social networks. As Richard Waters wrote in the Financial Times about the acquisition: “In justifying the high price it is paying, Facebook pointed out that texting is a $100bn a year business […].” It’ll be interesting to see what comes out of the conference later after both Whatsapp and Facebook have taken to the stage…Watch this space!
Naturally, at Mobile World Congress, mobile devices tend to be front of mind: Mozilla has announced a set of new devices and partnerships; ZTE has added the Open C and Open II to its Firefox OS powered smartphone series; Russian company Yota will unveil a YotaPhone 2; Huawei has unveiled five new 4G LTE devices (and has added to the wearables market with a TalkBand smartband). For a video of Huawei’s latest tablet/phone watch this on Engadget. As cell phones get bigger, what else can they offer?
As far as we’re concerned, the more devices and consumer choices, the better for everyone involved. What is interesting, however, is what these devices can offer in the way of convenience and security in our digital lifestyle. How can they improve our daily activities, whether mobile banking, mobile payments, mobile social networking and even sports like darts?