This year more than 70,000 people flocked to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, reflecting the growing global demand for mobile phones worldwide – 720 million smartphones were sold last year. Falling prices helped this trend, as did the commercial war between different brands and operating systems. Microsoft launched its OS Windows Phone 8 at the Congress.
Stefania Duico, Marketing Director Windows Phone Italia, explained: “Right now, Windows Phone 8 is the most personalised on the market, as you can see by the initial interface. For example we can re-size, enlarge or make smaller our animated squares. Or we can move the animated squares, and put them as we prefer. Windows phones were initially marketed as a top of the range series of products. But the market also includes products in lower price ranges, say below 200 euros, where we did not have an offer. Now with the new series of products and the new Nokia offers, finally we have a wide range of offers meaning we are competitive in all price ranges.”
For their part, Nokia launched their new relatively new priced Lumia phones. The 720 model costs around 250 euros and the 520 is priced at 140 euros. Nokia says the new cameras on the phones will make many special effects possible.
Windows’ competitor Android is already installed on around 70% of smartphones worldwide. The leader in the Android market is Samsung, which has launched the new Galaxy Note 8.0. It is a tablet with phone capabilities: so it is called “phablet”. The manufacturer claims it is bigger, faster and has more sharing capabilities.
Brittney Herman, Marketing Coordinator, Samsung, said: “You have phone messaging, you can make video calls, looking at the persons while you are talking to them, and you can text messages. You can download a book, choose a book, you go to that book, you find a page, you are reading, you want to highlight something, you choose any colour, you highlight this line, and if you want to find it later on, you go to my notes, and it is right there.”
The new Sony Xperia Z tablet has full HD resolution, is only 6.9 mm thick, and weighs 495 grams. Sony says it is waterproof – it can stay a meter underwater for up to 30 minutes – and it’s dust resistant. Like the Samsung Galaxy, it is possible to make phone calls with it.
HTC presented the new Android HTC One. The company says it has better sound quality and more capacity for sharing music, films, clips and games. The most important new feature is the camera: instead of a single frame, you are able to capture a 3 second video clip, to scroll among many frames, and finally choose the frame you prefer.
LG launched the Optimus G Pro, another “Phablet” equipped with full HD screen and a very quick processor. An interesting characteristic is what has been called the “world’s smallest wireless charger”. No need to insert a cable into your phone any more. You just put it on the charger, and the telephone is recharged via electrical induction.