As MWC gets underway in Barcelona, Juniper Research reveals the hot topics at this year's show:
1. Wave of Tablet Launches in Wake of iPad
iPad competitors gear up to launch their own devices: the Congress is showcasing a raft of new arrivals, including Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2, the LG Optimus Tab and the HTC Scribe. Meanwhile, the surge of interest in consumer tablet devices -- allied to the accelerated adoption of smartphones -- has brought further urgency to the debate on how to tackle mobile network congestion.
2. LG's Optimus 3D in the Vanguard of Stereoscopic Revolution
LG's announcement that it would be unveiling the world's first 3D smartphone at MWC generated significant pre-event buzz: the handset, which enables both stereoscopic image and video capture, is expected to be the trailblazer for an array of imitators, with vendors anxious to translate the wider consumer enthusiasm for 3D experiences in the cinema and on TV to the smaller screen.
3. NFC to see real, live usage in 2011
In Juniper's view, NFC is going to see real, live usage in 2011. Over the last few months we have seen major announcements from several key players such as Orange and Google along with growth in the rollout of the contactless readers at merchants' POS plus announcements of retrofit interim solutions.
4. Mobile Industry Moves To Grasp mHealth Opportunity
mHealth has a dedicated stream at MWC this year, indicating the scale of the opportunity presented by this sector and the increasing industry interest. Certainly, the nascent markets for mobile services such as remote monitoring are expected to grow strongly in the short/ medium term; Juniper expect the number of deployed services will rise dramatically during 2011.
5. Vendors and Brands invest in Augmented Reality
2011 is the year in which AR will hit the mobile mainstream. There has been innovation and investment across the value chain -- Qualcomm has launched an Android AR SDK; Samsung is preloading AR browsers on selected handsets. Expect to see greater breadth and depth of AR apps this year, with significant numbers of brands such as Carlsberg utilising AR platforms in their ad campaigns.
Juniper Research (http://www.juniperresearch.com) provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.