5 Mar 2018

MWC Sees Cameras Central to Smartphone Marketing and New Design Form Factors

More than 107,000 attendees walked through the doors at Fira Gran Via to join the Mobile World Congress (MWC) exhibition in Barcelona from 26 February to 1 March.

Back of Samsung Phone

Professionals from 205 countries and territories were present, and the event was covered by approximately 3,500 members of the international press and media. More than 2,400 companies showcased cutting-edge products and services across 120,000 square metres of exhibition and hospitality space.

Handset vendors continue to showcase camera specifications as a key tool to market their latest products. Almost all brands’ premium devices contained dual main cameras to enhance the photographic experience, and some mainstream models also benefiting from their addition. Samsung’s S9 and S9+ models were both launched at MWC 2018, the latter with dual OIS cameras.

Samsung’s S9+ now joins Apple’s iPhone X as the only two handsets offering OIS functionality in both the wide angle and zoom camera, as the top two global brands seek to push the limits of imaging experience. The industry’s other major brands are expected to follow suit in the future.

Possibly, in answer to the question of what will be coming next - although Huawei announced no new smartphones at MWC, there were numerous advertisement hoardings and displays preparing the market for the launch of their P20 handset model in Paris on 27 March. Although still open to some interpretation, the implication of Huawei’s marketing is that the P20 will contain triple rear cameras, powered with Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms.

Other smartphone makers seeking to challenge convention were Nokia and ZTE with novel device form factors. Nokia stimulated the global media with the re-release of the 8110 ‘banana-phone’ with a slider to protect the keypad and move the microphone into position during calls. More boldly, ZTE release its Axon M handset with dual screens, to double the available display size to make messaging an easier task and improving the movie viewing experience. It remains to be seen whether this will set a trend in the other major players and see the launch of several new multi-screen devices in the future.