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3 Trends from MWC Barcelona @CDM Digital Sports - Issue #43

Like every year, the second (after CES Vegas) big global appointment for the tech sector took place i
3 Trends from MWC Barcelona @CDM Digital Sports - Issue #43
By Carlo De Marchis @CDM • Issue #43 • View online
Like every year, the second (after CES Vegas) big global appointment for the tech sector took place in Barcelona where the next steps in the smartphone’s evolution were on full display.
The Mobile World Congress (MWC) showcases the latest innovations from leading tech companies (excluding Apple) and anticipates what’s to come for the apps and platforms space in the years ahead.
3 trends took center stage this year:
  1. phones with 5G, the networking standard that will succeed 4G LTE
  2. foldable smartphones
  3. crypto smartphones 
Inspired and based on the Business Insider Intelligence (BII) Report.

Executive Summary
The mobile market badly needs a new big thing to shake up sale which after many years are slowing down.
 The global smartphone market saw shipments decline for the first time in 2017, dropping less than 1% YoY, and global demand for smartphones continued to stall through 2018, with shipments falling over 4% YoY.
Unfortunately for the mobile market, it will not be easy for these three trends to be an immediate hit. 
The world’s first 5G-capable phones were unveiled by Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, ZTE, and Huawei. These devices harness the power of 5G, allowing for faster download speeds, 4K-quality video calls, and reduced latency when playing games or using AR.
BII expects 5G phones won’t be in demand this year but will pick up steam in select regions starting in 2020 and into 2021.
It won’t be until 2025 that nearly half of countries worldwide will have launched 5G. 
Samsung and Huawei unveiled their take on folding smartphones, while other brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, and TLC came with prototypes and associated screen technology. Samsung’s foldable phone starts at $1,980 and Huawei’s is priced at $2,600, and both feature a tablet-sized screen that can be folded to the size and shape of a typical smartphone.
I still have to experience it a bit more directly to be fully convinced, and I believe the execution of the concept into a physical object will make the real difference between a fad and a long term success.
BII expects foldable phones to see uptake among early adopters, but as new takes on the form factor emerge and the price continues to drop it should catalyze adoption in the years ahead. 
Over three-quarters (77%) of respondents stated that they’re interested in having the new form factor as their next smartphone, according to an informal survey of Business Insider readers from Business Insider Intelligence.
The cryptocurrency space has captured the mobile industry’s interest, and smartphone vendors like HTC and Samsung are among the first to push into the market. HTC introduced over 20 new apps, including a personal tracker that can sell your data for cryptos, to its new Exodus 1 blockchain phone. Samsung’s newly announced Galaxy S10 will include a storage system for crypto private keys. 
While I start to see the advantages of the underlining technology (blockchain) I still have to be fully convinced of the Cripto success opportunity.
BII doesn’t expect these devices to reach mass adoption anytime in the near future. Although smartphone vendors are exploring the crypto frenzy, adoption is still lagging: Only 8% of the US population has invested in a crypto, and just 8% of those who haven’t plan to do so in the future, for example. This means consumers outside of the crypto bubble likely won’t be interested in these phones.
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Carlo De Marchis @CDM

Weekly updates from the world of sport media: OTT, digital, mobile, social, VR/AR, marketing, sponsorship. Follow me on twitter at @CDM

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