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BW Businessworld

Mobile World Looks At Barcelona

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Rumours, leaks, teasers, and educated guesswork has mapped out what to expect at MWC 2014, or the World Mobile Congress. Always held at this time, in Barcelona, Spain, the MWC is all mobile, unlike the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, or whose heels it follows. Being narrowed down to mobility keeps this tech show more focused and in-depth but of course, mobility is so big that the fare can extend from wireless tech to bendable phones..
 
All eyes are on Samsung which has its "Unpacked" event slated to take place at the MWC. With lots of "5" popping up in event related communication, there are few who doubt that its' all about the Galaxy S5, the next avatar of its flagship brand, around which many variants will possibly come up, in time. Leaked specs and images of the S5 have been doing the rounds for weeks, if not months. Amazingly, the rumour mill has it that the S5 will start with variant versions, apparently a Standard and a Prime. There's also talk of a gold model. Some of the specs being bandied about include a 16 megapixel primary camera, a fingerprint sensor, waterproof body and a new version of its much derided interface, the Touchwhiz UI.
 
Already out in the open though, are not one but two versions of Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Galaxy Gear 2 is a refinement of the original, with higher specs, compatibility with more models, and more apps. The Galaxy Gear Neo will be a scaled-down version of the watch. Interestingly, both will work on Tizen, Samsung's new 0S, not on Android.
 
Samsung is also expected to launch the Tab 4, according to mysterious people 'familiar with the matter'. The Tab 4 will have three different sizes and higher specs than the current series. These tablets are likely intended for business customers.
 
A great deal of buzz is being created over the phones that Nokia will launch ahead of the finalisation of its takeover by Microsoft. In particular, a phone code-named Normandy will be the first of several low-end devices it plans to bring out, to plug the gap between the high-end Lumias and the budget Ashas. Microsoft is said to be less than delighted. The Normandy is however not a full-fledged Google style Android phone and doesn't come with the Google Play Store.
 
The action has already begun with Huawei launching a budget 8-inch tablet. Huawei has also been teasing its Ascend P7 smartphone and there are images of a smart watch.
 
LG has already unveiled its super-spec'd LG G2 Pro. LG will also have new additions to its L series, meant for budget buyers.
 
All the big chipmakers are heading to Barcelona, keen on being at the centre of all that is mobile. Intel, Qualcomm, MediaTek, Broadcom and Marvell will be there, hoping to ensure they can cash in on the the world's largest mobile market, China which is moving to LTE. Intel isexpected to be launching two chips for Android and Windows smartphones and tablets to enhance performance and consume less power. Qualcomm will be intensely focused on capitalising on opportunities in China.
 
The action is about to begin.
 
Twitter: @malabhargava