This year’s Mobile World Congress in done, and for some consumer’s it has left something to be desired. There are only a handful of events each year that see the debut’s of mobile technology that consumer’s get really excited for. For fans of Android and Windows Phone platforms generally have a lot to get excited about when MWC rolls around, and while this year saw a slew of new devices, but this year’s offerings seem to have failed to excite customers looking for big innovation.
I had the opportunity to speak to a couple of consumers and get their reactions to the new devices that are hitting the market soon. Both are avid Android users who were hopeful at the beginning of the show for a really exciting new flagship phone from companies like Motorola and Samsung. Both of these consumers felt like the most interesting things to come out of Barcelona weren’t aimed at them. “The Firefox OS seems like something that could be interesting, but it’s not aimed at me” said one consumer I talked to. “It (Firefox OS) is aimed at emerging markets overseas, but I think it’s a really cool way to get better tech into the hands of people who can’t afford a $200 or $300 cell phone”.
Both of the consumers I talked to were also a bit nonplussed about Samsung’s new flagship phone, the Galaxy S5. “It’s bigger, and the specs are a little better than the S4, but overall the only feature they’ve added is that it’s waterproofed enough to withstand a dunking” said a 24 year old automobile industry worker. “The rest of the features feel like they didn’t have anything that really felt like major improvements. But to be fair, they can’t make every phone seem like magic. It’s the same complaint the press have when Apple puts out an iPhone that doesn’t have some unbelievable feature. Everyone who makes these devices are going to have those years, they’re going to have those releases that just fail to excite. I just wish I had more to get excited about because I’m due for an upgrade”.
Is Bigger Better?
Another trend in the mobile space seems to be the idea that bigger is better. There were handful of new “phones” that have 7 inch (or larger) screens on them. I thought that the Galaxy Note phones were pretty big to begin with, the term “phablet” having been coined to describe the category it opened up. Interestingly, the new Nexus 7-sized phones won’t be coming to America. Apparently the idea hasn’t caught on here the way that it has Europe.
To Sum Up
Mobile World Congress is always interesting to watch. We can generally get an idea of where the industry is going, or at least see some interesting stuff, and this year was no exception. This year, however, seems to have been one of the “in between years” where we got new devices, but they weren’t the revolutionary iterations some had hoped for. But that’s the way it seems to go with mobile devices. It seems that no matter what your chosen platform is, that platform is unlikely to see life altering improvements every year. With that in mind, it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing that I don’t get a discount on a new phone from my carrier every year.