Mobile World Congress 2017 may not be as big of a trade show as it has normally been, thanks to the Snapdragon 835. Typically, HTC, LG and Samsung all dominate the media day before the trade show officially opens its doors. But not this year. HTC has decided to skip the show, at least they won't be holding a major press conference. Something that they did last year as well, since they were opting to launch the HTC 10 in April. LG will still be there to announce the LG G6, Samsung will also be present, but it appears that they are looking to launch a tablet and not a flagship smartphone like the Galaxy S8 – which is confirmed to be a no-show in Barcelona.
So the big question here is why are so many manufacturers looking to skip the biggest mobile trade show of the year? Well, nothing is confirmed, but speculation in the industry is that the Snapdragon 835 is the reason. Samsung is again manufacturing the chipset for Qualcomm, and they also reportedly have the exclusive on the chipset for their own smartphone – the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus – which are due to come out in April. Leaving Qualcomm customers out in the cold until around the summer-time. So many companies are opting to wait, instead of releasing a flagship device with a Snapdragon 821, which is a very small upgrade over the Snapdragon 820.
HTC has confirmed that they are going to release a new flagship once the Snapdragon 835 is available later this year, but for now they'll be sticking with the HTC U Play and U Ultra, which were announced last month and are due to start shipping in March. Having a lot of the big names skip out on Mobile World Congress this year is allowing companies like LG, Huawei and Sony soak up all of the attention. And for manufacturers that are really looking to add to their market share, that's definitely a good thing. All three (LG, Huawei and Sony) have announced that they will be holding press conferences, and all of them appear to be launching flagships too.