Mobile World Congress 2017 is taking place in Barcelona from 27th February to 02nd March and, as usual, Kantar is here – Hall 8.1 Stand D51. We asked our mobile experts about the new trends unfolding at this year’s conference:
Bringing back the classics
“There is a large focus on the retro-smartphones: Nokia has returned with the 3310, an updated version of their very famous feature phone” says Lauren Guenveur, Global Consumer Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel Comtech. Guenveur admitted to being 'completely sold' after playing ‘Snake’, the classic game featured on the 3310.
Motorola has reintroduced their ‘Hello Moto’ campaign, first associated with their famous flip phone. “This is coming out with the Moto G5 and 5G Plus, which appear very similar to the G4, mid-range with a full metal body” says Guenveur.
New phones, with new features
“Blackberry has come out with a new phone, the Keyone, which has a physical keyboard that everyone is used to on the Blackberry”. Guenveur continues: “This keyboard also works as a track pad with shortcuts, so, for example, if you hold down the ‘F’ key, it will launch Facebook. It’s a high spec phone, high-end phone, and it’s going to go against the LG-G6 and Samsung S8. For hard-core Blackberry fans it’s exactly what you want from a Blackberry phone.”
Dominic Sunnebo, Global Business Unit Director at Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, adds comments around the new launches from Huawei, Samsung and LG:
“The P10 launch was a good demonstration of how Huawei has grown as a brand and business – the P10 showed slight evolution in all the right areas; camera, design, speed – it was a low risk strategy but one that suits where Huawei is as a business. With the P10, Huawei kept the focus on the camera and it’s highly successful partnership with Leica, expanding this to cover the front camera as well as the two rear cameras.” Sunnebo adds: “Green and Blue variants added spice to the launch, and is a simple way of keeping focus and attention on Huawei’s young target audience. It’s clear the P10 is on a par with the big hitting flagships, and puts Huawei in a strong place to start to focus more on markets were Premium devices dominate (UK, Sweden, USA, Etc.), however price will ultimately lay a part here and whether Huawei will be able to hold firm on its launch price once the S8 is launches remains to be seen.”
Sunnebo continues:“With the official S8 launch still a month away, Samsung focussed on launching its new Tab S3 and Samsung Book Hybrid. The launch event highlighted just how aware the big manufacturers are that there is limited life left in the simple slate tablet – indeed Samsung is increasingly chasing the laptop and PC replacement market, with more powerful and capable devices than ever. The Tab S3 was sold as the ultimate media consumption device, with an sAMOLED screen, AKG tuned speaker system, but also a device which can be used for creativity and productivity via the S Pen. A partnership with German heritage brand Staedler for a special edition S-Pen completed the picture. The S pen was invented by Samsung and remains an ever more important part of the experience they want consumers to have.”
“LG launched the G6 yesterday, with the hopes it will be the device to turn around their ailing Smartphone division. It’s a beautiful device and one which feels just right in the hand - packing a 5.7” screen as standard. To put that into perspective, the original Samsung Note had a 5.3” screen, which isn’t even considered a Phalet today, but was an object of comedy for many at launch. The big difference with the G6 though is how svelte its dimensions are compared to its screen size- Bezels have been the enemy for many years, and 2017 seen to be the year that war as intensified. LG has also ditched the modular aspect of the G5, focussing on core consumer needs and less gimmicks-great screen, design & camera” says Sunnebo.
Guenveur adds “Many of the phones now are featuring dual cameras which suggest that augmented reality is going to become even more relevant in 2017.”
What’s going on in the world of AI?
The LG G6 is the first non-Pixel phone launching with Google Assistant. Guenveur comments: “It is quite conversational – I first asked about the weather, then was able to ask ‘What about tomorrow?’ and ‘Can you show me the Fahrenheit?’ It knew I was still talking about the very first question that I asked.”
“Amazon Alexa seems to have a connection with Alcatel, along with Huawei’s devices in its honours series. I think it is still going to be the ‘next big thing’, but overall, the show is still very spec-heavy.”
Source : Kantar, Kantar Media, Kantar Worldpanel, Kantar TNS