The annual Mobile World Congress event took place in late February, with the world’s leading smartphone and tablet manufacturers gathering to showcase their upcoming products, reveal new technologies and bring their latest ideas to the biggest stage in the world for mobile products and devices. This year saw a major push for updates, revivals and renewals: from the return of the classic Nokia 3310 to controlling the smart home of the future, there is plenty to be excited about in the mobile industry during 2017.
Relaunching the Nokia 3310
If you owned a mobile phone around the turn of the millennium, chances are it was a Nokia 3310. The distinctively shaped smart phones gave us Snake 2, polyphonic ring tones and a portable alarm clock, although there were a long way from internet and camera functions. The phone was widely seen as efficient, durable, reliable and innovative, and owning a 3310 then was as essential as having an iPhone today.
There isn’t much room in the market for Nokia today, although the company brought a great new smartphone series to MWC 2017 which could change things for them. The Nokia 5 and the Nokia 3 Android phones are sharp, slick and stylish: and with a very sensible price tag, they could become a dark horse in the race for mobile supremacy.
More interestingly for mobile fans, Nokia confirmed the return of a relaunched, reimagined 3310. The shape is a little different, a colour screen has been included and there is now a very basic camera, but the phone is the same simple, useful tool it always has been. Users will be able to access the internet to browse email and text-based websites, but not their social networking and photo filter apps. One stand-out feature is the 22 hours of call time: Nokia phones always did have the best batteries.
Insurance and security demands
Mobile security is a key concern for phone and tablet users today, and a study at MWC 2017 found that 82% of smartphone users are ‘worried’ or ‘extremely’ worried about their phone’s vulnerability to hacking. Consumers want better protection from their phones: high profile data breaches like that of the Apple Cloud, or the loss of Yahoo! account data, has reminded people of how much information their mobiles hold – and how catastrophic a breach can be. Because of this wave of concern, mobile developers are working on tightening up existing models and processes, rather than rushing to bring new devices to the market.
‘Insurtech’ start-ups (new companies selling insurance who use innovative technology to sell and deliver) are transforming the mobile market with pay-as-you-go insurance, security package bundles, mobile security software and ‘hackproof’ mobile handsets. Tablets and mobiles which have added levels of protection are predicted to sell at higher rates this year. The Galaxy S7 Edge, which put in an appearance at this year’s mobile show, is being billed as one of the most secure and safe phones on the market and could be a welcome addition to Samsung’s product line after last year’s S7 Note disaster.
Mobile to power self-driving cars and self-aware homes
When the Internet of Things (IoT) and it’s connected arm If That, Then This (IFTTT) starts to take off, mobiles are going to be at the centre of the storm. That is the message from experts at the Mobile World Congress. Smart home hubs, heating controls, automatic doors, navigation systems, locks and alarms, command string control and voice activated assistant access are just some of the many features your smart phone could soon be in charge of.
From setting the heating while you are out to entering and starting your car with no key, mobiles are already crucial in accessing smart services. As learning technology for mobiles grows, these controls will become more intelligent and will be able to match strings of conditions before action is taken. Having home Wi-fi is already essential, but before long that Wi-fi will be the main power for all of your devices and appliances, systems and more. Having a good tablet or mobile device will ensure you are ready for the upcoming IoT revolution.