With the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on the horizon anticipation is building for what is widely regarded as the pinnacle event in the mobile industry. This annual gathering, known for showcasing the latest innovations in mobile technology, sometimes includes exciting reveals in the realm of wearable tech. Here’s a closer look at what we might expect from this year’s event.
What is MWC?
Organized by the GSMA, an entity that champions the interests of mobile operators globally, the MWC trade show has been a staple in Barcelona since 2006, drawing an audience of around 100,000 attendees. This year’s event is poised to continue this tradition, offering a platform for industry leaders to share their latest advancements and for enthusiasts to get a glimpse of the future of mobile technology.
The 2020 edition of MWC stands out as an anomaly in the event’s storied history. That year the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Initially set to proceed as planned, the withdrawal of numerous participating companies led organizers to conclude that hosting the event would be unfeasible. This decision marked a significant moment for the industry, underscoring the global impact of the pandemic.
In response, the 2021 event adapted to the new normal by incorporating COVID-19 safety protocols and integrating virtual components, ensuring the show could go on despite ongoing health concerns. Of course, things are back to normal now.
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In 2024, the MWC is scheduled to take place from February 26 to 29. However, launches will occur a day or two in advance. These preliminary events are important for businesses, as they seize the opportunity to announce new products and initiatives through press releases and presentations. It’s during these moments that we typically see the unveiling of the latest wearable technologies.
Wearables rarely make a strong showing
MWC draws a diverse audience, including mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors, and media. Yet, when it comes to the domain of wearable technology, MWC might not offer the same depth or breadth as other industry events like IFA or CES.
This distinction stems from MWC’s foundational focus. After all, it is a “mobile industry and technology event,” with its roots more deeply embedded in the mobile phone sector than in the broader spectrum of consumer electronics. Furthermore, companies frequently plan special events for wearable technology launches.
Having said that, we do get a few announcements.
For example, last year Xiaomi announced the global launch of Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro. The company is likely to make other announcements in Barcelona this year. What exactly, we are yet to find out.
Other companies which have confirmed attendance this year include Honor, Huawei, Nokia, Oppo, Realme, Samsung, and Qualcomm. Of course, smartphones and tablets will take centre stage. But expect some news on the wearables front.
For example, OnePlus Watch 2 is expected to make its debut in the coming weeks. This is a shift away from earlier speculations that hinted at a January reveal alongside the OnePlus 12. The leaked specifications suggest it will have a 1.39-inch AMOLED display and be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 chipset.
Also, we are still waiting for a device Oppo announced last year. Called OHealth H1, this is a Star-Trek-esque gadget that tracks six vital signs.
Another device which might make an appearance is the Honor Band 9. The wearable has recently snagged the stamp of approval from Buetooth SIG.
And let’s not forget Samsung Galaxy Fit3. Pretty much everything is already known about the upcoming fitness bands thanks to one of the company’s regional websites posting info ahead of the official reveal.
As MWC approaches, we hope to learn more about potential wearable tech launches. This event has consistently served as an excellent stage for firms to unveil new offerings and collaborations. We expect 2024 to uphold this tradition.
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