S06E11 - Bonus MWC Preview

After a short break the team are back to highlight some mobile-relevant news from the (now almost completely forgotten CES) and to anticipate some of the big topics we expect to come out of Mobile World Congress 2014 later in February.

From CES we look-back at:

  • Wearables including the Fitbit Force, LG’s heart-rate tracking headphones, the Pebble Steel and Metawatch.
  • T-Mobile USA’s ‘uncarrier’ moves to disrupt some long-established annoyances in the US mobile market, including roaming and family plans.
  • ‘Massive devices’ and the blurred lines between tablets and phablets. Rafe disses the CoolPad as a ‘muppet device’.
  • Small devices including the Sony Z1 compact which finally has a decent screen from Sony and isn’t  compromised spec-wise.
  • Intel’s SD-sized computer with a ‘Pentium class’ processor. Could this be adopted by the geek community as enthusiastically as the Raspberry Pi?
  • Dual-booting devices between Windows and Android.

Anticipating MWC we discuss:

  • Hardware announcements definitely expected from ZTE and Huawei, with Nokia also looking likely (possibly a Lumia 930) as the Microsoft deal completes. Rafe tips HTC as a possible ‘one to watch’ for interesting hardware (if not commercial success).
  • Ben and Rafe both predict the Samsung Galaxy S5 won’t be released at MWC (although that now seems likely to be wrong given recent leaks). Ben expects to be disappointed by bigger numbers but uninspiring design and terrible software.
  • Automotive platforms and the two competing platforms… one backed by Google and using Android, the other backed by the ‘new’ Nokia and Here mapping services.
  • Qualcomm’s 4k streaming demo based on the SnapDragon 805 chip which should be in real devices late in 2014. Rafe reminds us it’s not just a chip, but a whole system on a chip.The things we ran out of time to discuss including mobile operators, apps and infrastructure.