In the run-up to every Mobile World Congress, media and analysts spend much time speculating on what is likely to feature at the event, indicating the importance of these four days as a bellwether for the mobile industry. Already there are signs that this is shaping up to be an eventful show--certainly if Huawei's recent video teaser is anything to go by.
The Chinese vendor has set its stance ahead of the event by having a sly dig at both Samsung and Apple and revealing it will be launching two tablets and a smartphone in Barcelona. Whether this rather "teasing" and somewhat combative tone will pervade the general mood at the event remains to be seen, but it certainly reinforces a message that Nokia has learned the hard way: no single company is bigger than the industry and there will always be someone snapping at your heels.
For sure, MWC will see the usual round of device launches, with Samsung already expected to launch a new flagship device, the Galaxy S5, Yota Devices set to reveal new advances in its two-screen YotaPhone and a new security-focused device called the Blackphone expected from Silent Circle and Spanish smartphone provider Geeksphone.
Operating systems will also feature, and indeed the money currently seems to be on Mozilla unveiling the latest update of Firefox OS and Samsung-backed Tizen making some announcements. The jury is still out on which operating systems will break up the iOS/Android stronghold, although Windows Phone is clearly still doing its best.
From speaking to various people in the industry, it's also clear that many expect this year's MWC to strongly reflect the spread of mobile technology into other industries, as illustrated by connected cars and connected homes. Much is also expected on the topic of the "Internet of Things" and the proliferation of connected devices in all walks of life. The keynote by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg on connecting the next billions is also likely to be one of the most popular executive presentations--get there early seems to be the best advice for that one.
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