I think MWC 2014 could trigger some fundamental changes in Mobile World Congress. While the lovefest with smartphone vendors will continue, smartphones won't be the only platform that gets love from network operators.
Is this an evolution of the smartphone or another iteration of the PC? The Apple II+ was often referred to as the Visicalc machine, since that single-use functionality was enough to launch the device category. Smartphones started out as telephones, but that is a smaller and smaller part of what they are becoming.
it's almost as though it may be necessary to reinvent the telephone in a new form factor--outside of what the smartphone has become--so that mobile communications can once again be at the center of what's happening in a given form factor. I'm not sure how this would happen, but MWC would be an interesting place to launch such a device.
"What we thought as a smartphone probably needs to be re-defined now. So few people actually talk on the smartphone!"
Indeed, the smartphone has become the central hub, wirelessly connected to an increasing number of peripherals -- but in a much more exciting way than the PC ecosystem & peripherals of a now almost bygone era.
Junko, much of this change is due to the smartphone becoming the magnet platform for new applications and usage models. in addition, the performance of many smartphones is now very close to the average PC.
The next step is taking that small form factor and creating a smart network and enabling more devices, hence IoT.
More exciting because they're mobile & wireless computers that are with you at all times. Remote access and/or control of just about anything from your smartphone has already resulted in some interesting uses in home automation, home security, fitness monitoring & other areas, but as IoT expands, we will see many more. I expect there will be many more wireless "peripherals" at future MWCs.
It is natural that the netwrok operators are now looking elsewhere to increase their revenues.
Smartphones are commodity now , whereas provinding connectivity solutions to cars and wearbale devices can be a premium revenue generating opportunity at least for a few coming years.
Regarding the feature phones still making the large portion of the pie , I think the smartphones are mainly bought by the young generation and the business community whereas the rest of the population is still embracing the simple to use no-nonsense feature phones.
I compare this with motocycle vs scooter trend - while the young male generation has switched over the motorbikes the remaining population is hooked to those scooters and scooterates.
I've heard rumors that Sprint will be offering a Nokia phone for the first time. Not really a game changer, but interesting, since it seems that Sprint has been reluctant in the past to support Windows phones. Maybe this is changing with its new ownership.
I've also heard that Samsung may use Tizen for its smart watch.