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UK Insights

MWC 2014 round-up

Claire Davies

Former editor and head of content

Tech Mobile 27.02.2014 / 11:09

MWC picture of the stand

What were the key trends from MWC14? Plus a brief look ahead to next year

Having spent four days at the world's biggest mobile event, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, our mobile experts have noticed some key trends: diversification, personalisation and the importance of connections.

Guy Rolfe, Kantar's head of global mobile practice, says: "The mobile sector is now more competitive and aggressive than ever before. The carriers and the content providers are all fighting for vital revenue, for example: WhatsApp announcing it is going into voice. We are seeing the diversification of many business models as everyone fights to grow new revenues, such as: mobile ad servers seeking to extend their value proposition."

Mardien Drew, head of the digital incubation team at Kantar, has been coming to Mobile World Congress for the past 3 years: "A few years ago the mobile operators all talked about getting handsets into the hands of consumers, now they talk about connecting the next 3 billion people. This desire to connect people is how Mark Zuckerberg described the purchase of WhatsApp in his Mobile World Congress keynote. Nothing has wowed me this year, as it did a few years ago. It feels like we're just experiencing the logical next step. For example, 3 years ago we had the connected house, 2 years ago we had the connected street and this year, the connected city. None of it is particularly new to MWC, but the 'hype-cycle' is slow and it takes a long time for these things to come to market."

Looking ahead to #MWC15, Guy Rolfe expects the trends from this year to intensify: "I expect the aggressive competition between carriers and content providers will continue to heat up and as this battle unfolds we'll start to see market sector consolidation. From a consumer point of view, I'd like to see real innovation that delivers consumer benefits, for example improved battery life. There is speculation Google and Apple are both working on a new generation of battery but there is no indication yet just how close they are to making this a reality."

Mardien says a theme that she expects to continue to grow in importance at Mobile World Congress next year is personalisation: "This year we've seen personalised headphones, covers, cat mascots (!) as well as a huge variety of apps that are tailored to a particular individual providing personal benefits. I don't necessarily think we'll see big announcements next year, instead we'll see products and services continuing to take their logical next steps and additional layers of personalisation."

Source : Kantar

Editor's Notes

Journalists, to interview Guy Rolfe or Mardien Drew, please contact us.

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