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MWC 2016 Full of Add-on Devices, rather than new Smartphones

February 24, 2016 - Written By Diego Macias

The tablet market began struggling a while ago as sales declined quite rapidly. This might have happened because users didn’t see much innovation or significant changes in newer generations of products compared to their predecessors, so it wouldn’t make much sense to buy a newer tablet. MWC 2016 had some significant announcements of new phones and while they brought many improvements compared to their respective previous generations, mid-range devices have also been getting better and many of the components used in the past are very good, so one might wonder if users still have enough reasons to upgrade to a newer smartphone.

Mobile World Congress also seemed to have focused on companion products for the new phones, LG took advantage of the modular design of the G5 to show some attachable accessories to enhance the overall experience while taking or capturing some photos or listening to music, but also, the company introduced a lot of accessories, including a rolling robot and a VR headset. Sony also introduced new accessories and even some prototypes of future technology. Samsung announced a camera capable of recording video in 360° and some of their presentation was available in VR, so it’s clear that companies will keep pushing this technology forward. HTC finally gave some details about pricing and availability for their Vive VR headset. Augmented reality also became present in Qualcomm’s booth in an “invisible museum” demonstration. Still, Android co-founder Rich Miner seems to think that VR might “take longer to evolve”.

In last year’s MWC, companies like Pebble, LG and Huawei introduced some new smartwatches, but this year, smartwatch announcements and wearable technology in general seems to be quite absent. None of the major companies introduced a new smartwatch, although they might have figured out that it would be better to announce these new products at some other time, as wearable technology seems to be here to stay. The point is that the new generation of phones doesn’t seem to be that revolutionary, it seems like companies fixed whatever could have been wrong with their own handsets, so maybe that’s how these events are going to be like from now on. Perhaps companies will introduce new services that will work with all of these devices when they are interconnected or new ways to interact with all of them.