The Mobile World Congress (MWC) is held in February every year in the artful city of Barcelona, inviting the mobile tech industry to discuss new technologies, and giving smartphone makers a platform to announce their new flagships, continuing the gleeful tradition of competition. However, it seems that this year is going to be slightly different.
According to Android Headlines, citing an unnamed HTC insider, the company will not be unveiling its next flagship – the U12, or whatever else it may be named – at the mega event. Instead, it will host a separate event in the following weeks after MWC.
This won’t come as news for anyone who follows the company – HTC has been moving itself away from the chaos of MWC over the past few years – its U11 flagship was announced in May of last year, after all. However, HTC’s reported absence is sure to lull the hype of MWC, especially considering LG isn’t quite ready to showcase its upcoming devices either, and neither is Huawei, therefore leaving Samsung to garner most of the attention. The company has already sent out invites for its MWC event, where it is expected to unveil the Galaxy S9.
Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845 SoC is expected to show up in a number of flagships this year, meaning that most flagships would feature similar specifications, just as they did last year; but the extra time that manufacturers are seemingly dedicating to the development of their devices suggests that there may be more of an effort to differentiate the flagship devices of this year with unique features than there was in the past.
HTC, with the U11 last year, introduced ‘squeezing’ the device as a new method of interaction, which was later adopted by the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL as a method to trigger the Google Assistant. It’s unclear what this year’s flagship will have in store for consumers, but an 18:9 ratio display is likely to make the cut. Samsung, on the other hand, appears to be in the mood to make some refinements to its last year's flagship, rather than making drastic changes.
It’s certainly going to be an exciting year for the flagship smartphones. One can only hope that the iPhone X’s push to make $1,000 an acceptable flagship price (with help from Samsung and Google) will have minimal effect on the pricing of these upcoming flagships.