Mobile World Congress comes soon after the big announcement that Facebook has spent $19 billion buying messaging service Whatsapp. Although Mark Zuckerberg did gatecrash Mobile Congress 2014, the sale of Whatapp was not the only story coming out of event. One of the major players in the mobile world has thrown its weight behind a push in 2014. Samsung made major announcement about mobile devices and an introduction to the fitness market. What have we learned from Mobile World Congress, is 2014 the year for Samsung and why Facebook bought Whatapp?
Mobile World Congress the best bits
With no big announcement for Apple it was down to the other players to take the stage at Mobile World Congress. One of the bigger companies that seem to have fallen away in the market is Blackberry, however an announcement to come out of the congress was that Blackberry are to re-launch the QWERTY keyboard on a future device. This looks to be an attempt to bring back old fans of the brand and ‘to be different.’ One of the big mistakes Blackberry made was to follow the crowd rather than improve its product. This could be the last chance for Blackberry so 2014 could be a massive year for Blackberry.
In the technology market it is often believed that the Chinese market is always one step ahead of the rest of the market, so it is important to take notice of a major push for ZTE. ZTE are the third largest vendors of systems for mobile communication and are launching a new handset in the Chinese market. The Grand Memo II handset has screen that covers 80 percent of the screen and is ‘protected by Gorilla Glass.’
Samsung Launch Fitness Devices
At Mobile World Congress one of the biggest brands Samsung made an announcement about not only a new handset coming in April but also a number of fitness products. The fitness market is massive, with companies such as Nike, Jawbone and FitBit already jumping on the fitness bandwagon and creating fitness tracking devices, making the most of mobile technology. The idea is that you can link your fitness band to your smartphone apps so it makes sense that companies like Samsung create their own device.
The new Samsung Galaxy S5 will feature a heart monitor that sounds like a bit of a gimmick however the S Health App will make the heart monitor useful. The heart monitor also features on the Gear 2 Smartwatch which links well with your Samsung Galaxy S5. The biggest push on the fitness market though is the Gear Fit. The Gear fit offers a great looking product (that does not look like a curfew tag) and offers a list of ‘the most comprehensive fitness tools available.’ Time will tell if Samsung become the leader in the fitness market, although it does look like major investment has been put into the market.
Facebook Purchase of Whatsapp
The big spot at Mobile World Congress was for Mark Zuckerberg following the $19 billion purchase of Whatsapp. The reason Zuckerberg purchased the service was due to the number of users. Whatsapp has half a billion users and whilst it is not the only app of its type, they do everything the right way. What has made phone companies nervous though is the long term strategy of Zuckerberg to ‘create a dial tone for the internet.’
The fact Zuckerberg gate crashed Mobile Congress could of put noses out of joint anyway but the long term strategy is the big issue. SMS messages are free to send for the carrier, it is the data cost the companies can charge for, Zuckerberg plans to work with companies to connect the world to the internet which can be bad news for phone companies. Already you can make VOIP and Skype calls for free over Wifi so mobile phone carriers could lose customers on higher data packages. Only time will tell whether Facebook grow their smartphone grip or go the way of most technology buyouts (remember Motorola and Google!).
About the Author: Daisy Burgess is a technology blogger with over 2 years of experience reviewing mobile devices and tablets. Device information provided by Mobilyse Mobile Comparison site