MWC 2013: news and reviews from the world’s biggest mobile show

No Nokia tablet at MWC: report

18 February 2013 – Nokia’s tablet won’t be arriving at MWC, a researcher suggests, despite previous reports and images leaked from Pakistan last week. Strategy Analytics has called its sources in the channel and found no traces of a Nokia tablet, suggesting the Finnish firm intends to instead focus on its Lumia smartphone range at the Barcelona show, according to a report from Know Your Mobile.

Forget hardware – MWC should focus on software

15 February 2013 – There’s no innovation left to happen in smartphone hardware, one analyst has said, suggesting MWC will instead focus on software. “Industry commentators are wrong and are stuck in a pre-1981, pre-Microsoft ‘hardware mindset’,” said Victor Basta, managing director at Magister Advisors, according to ComputerWorld UK. “The mobile industry is no longer about the device.”

“The past few years have been about perfecting the mobile device. Smartphones are now derivative, innovation has already happened and Apple’s share price is suffering partly because of this,” Basta added. “For 2013, all important mobile innovation will be software-based.”

Opera to release Android WebKit browser at MWC

13 February 2013 – Opera has confirmed its switch to WebKit for its browsers, and the first release starring the rendering engine will arrive at Mobile World Congress in Android handsets. The Norwegian browser firm said it will unveil the new Android browser at the show at the end of the month.

Nokia to unveil a Windows tablet?

12 February 2013 – Nokia has long been rumoured to be working on a Windows tablet; there’s been little hard evidence but the firm’s CEO hasn’t ruled it out, and it’s an idea with some merit. Now, reports of a slide shown in Pakistan suggest that Nokia is already working a 7in tablet into its marketing materials – possibly ahead of a launch at MWC, notes TechCrunch.

Best of British mobile design heads to Barcelona

12 February 2013 – A British contingent of designers is heading to MWC, and Cnet will be showing off a selection of some of their best creations at the show. Highlights include a folding universal smartphone charger, a skin cancer-detecting app, and a tool that enables the display of a handset to be shown on an in-car dashboard – handy for satnav and playing videos for the kids.

Google a no-show for MWC

6 February 2013 – Android devices will surely cover much of MWC’s show floor, but Google won’t have a stand of its own, according to a French mobile site. Google told the site its representatives will still be at the show to “support” its partners; this move by the company suggests it won’t be launching anything of its own at the show.

Asus expects to show off PadFone 2

5 February 2013 – Asus has already said it has “huge” plans for MWC this year, and the latest reports suggest these will include the successor to its Asus PadFone 2, which the company says has hit sales of two million, according to Tom’s Hardware. Leaked photos also suggest Asus plans to unveil the Android-based MemoPad 10 tablet at the show.

Intel reveals dual-core for Android

1 February 2013 – Intel has revealed its plans for Mobile World Congress 2013, saying it will show off a new chip. “Specifically, Intel will showcase its latest smartphone technologies and devices running the Android platform, including a new dual-core, dual graphics platform, as well as OEM- and service provider-supported devices based on the company’s new Intel Atom Z2420 platform targeted at emerging markets,” the company said.

ZTE expected to release Mozilla handset

30 January 2013 – According to a report from Know Your Mobile, ZTE looks likely to unveil a handset running Mozilla’s Firefox Mobile OS. The Chinese handset maker is promoting its press conference with the hashtag “ZTEMozilla”, and is known to be working with Telefonica on the platform.

HTC pre-empts MWC with London release

29 January 2013 – HTC isn’t waiting for Mobile World Congress to kick off; instead, it’s holding its own launch event days before the Barcelona show. HTC hasn’t said what it plans to release on 15 February, but rumours suggest it will be the M7 smartphone – the follow-up to the HTC One X– which is expected to come with a top-end camera.

Samsung tablets leak online

29 January 2013 – Leaked photos have revealed two highly anticipated Samsung tablets, the Galaxy Tab 3 and Galaxy Note 8.0. Both are expected to be revealed at MWC in February.

The former is expected to be a 7in device – possibly a budget tablet to target Google’s Nexus 7. The latter is an extension of Samsung’s successful Galaxy Note line, and is expected to come in 16GB or 32GB versions, although full specs haven’t been revealed.

Telefonica promises big Firefox phone news at MWC

23 January 2013 – Firefox’s mobile OS looks set to grab some attention at Mobile World Congress, with Telefonica Digital’s CEO Matthew Key promising a “big announcement” at the Barcelona show.

Telefonica already revealed it’s working on a pair of developer phones, set to arrive in February – and likely to be on show at MWC. The handsets, developed with Spanish manufacturer Geeksphone, are the 1GHz, 3.5in display Keon, and the dual-core, 1.2GHz, 4.3in Peak.

Samsung to unveil 8in Galaxy Note at MWC

21 January 2013 – Samsung’s mobile president JK Shin has revealed the company plans to unveil an 8in version of its successful Galaxy Note “phablet” at Mobile World Congress.

Shin didn’t share any further details of the tablet or its specs, but it’s intriguing to see Samsung push the Note firmly out of the phone category and target similar-sized devices such as the iPad mini, Google Nexus 7 and Samsung’s own Galaxy 7.7 tablet.

LG “halts” Nexus 4 production ahead of new launches

15 January 2013 – LG has reportedly halted production of its Nexus 4 smartphone ahead of launching new devices at MWC, according to International Business Times.

The report suggested LG may already be working on a successor to the Google Nexus-branded smartphone, and said LG was expected to release more Nexus devices – possibly at the Barcelona show.

Asus promises “huge” MWC

9 January 2013 – Asus didn’t release a smartphone at CES in Las Vegas, saying it’s planning a “huge” launch at MWC. The company wouldn’t tell The Inquirer how many products would be released, but said Android remained a focus for the firm – and added it expects tablets to outsell laptops this year in the UK.

Huawei announces pair of smartphones for MWC

7 January 2013 – Huawei plans to launch a pair of new smartphones at MWC, after launching the Ascend D2 and Ascend Mate at CES in January. “Huawei will be launching two new products at MWC that are more innovative than these two phones,” Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group, said at the Las Vegas tech show.

Yu later told Engadget that at least one of the smartphones would be a follow-up to the P series Android handset, and would be thinner than Alcatel’s 6.45mm One Touch Idol Ultra.

LG holds mobile launches for MWC

7 January 2013 – LG told CES attendees it will launch new “tier one” mobile devices at Mobile World Congress in February, revealing little detail about what smartphones to expect.

However, reports suggest LG may release the Optimus G2, possibly sporting Qualcomm’s new S4 Snapdragon Prime chip, according to Know Your Mobile.

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