This is the 8th year that Yodel Mobile has attended the Mobile World Congress (MWC) and the quintessential mobile event continues to deliver in foregrounding the latest developments in the industry. With over 9 halls, MWC is overwhelmingly large with thousands of attendees and exhibitors spanning across mobile device manufacturers, tech providers, global mobile operators, vendors and more. So we sent the Yodel Mobile team to scope out some of the most notable developments for 2019 for mobile and apps.

It’s still all about 5G

With screens and posters blazing the release of 5G capable devices at the exhibition stands and halls, the 5G conversation undeniably dominated the MWC discourse this year. This also seemed to be the case last year. However, as we get closer to the 5G era, mobile device manufacturers are attempting to secure their place as the 5G leaders. This is in anticipation of the completed roll-out of the essential infrastructure needed to shift from 4G to 5G adoption. So what will 5G actually mean for consumers? Well, it promises internet connectivity with much faster data download and upload speeds, wider coverage and more stable connections. This opens the door for a whole new range of smartphone device releases too. Some of the biggest advocates at MWC were Huawei, LG and Samsung, releasing an exciting new host of 5G capable smartphones. You can get an overview of some of the top 5G releases here.

Source: Yves Herman / Reuters

Similar to last year, manufacturers may have gotten the ball rolling, but consumers won’t have access to these networks until much later in 2019 and adoption will also be dependent upon regionality. However, app marketers can start to get excited, as 5G will open the door to seamless and fast app usage in the future with the promise of reliable, speedy connections through mobile data, outside of WiFi connections. This will change the game for app owners who offer video streaming, gaming or AR/VR services.

Apps Hall 8.1 was buzzing

As usual, the Yodel Mobile team set up camp in the intimate Hall 8.1. Hall 8.1 connects hundreds of app-specific exhibitors, with app businesses offering app development, attribution, analytics and performance marketing services and tech. In contrast to the rest of the event halls, the corporate atmosphere that usually dictates MWC is exchanged for creative and vibrant stands, many focusing on the interconnectivity between the players of the mobile and app sphere.

Appsflyer stand at MWC 2019

A great example comes from holistic user journey measurement platform, Branch, who hosted mobile growth consultations at their stand. This set the tone for the general atmosphere in Hall 8.1, with a clear growing cohesion that encompasses the mobile marketing stack and holistic approach that is essential for app growth. Some other notable developments included a more comprehensive dialogue around the technology in tackling ad fraud, advertising networks amplified their offering to allow app marketers to execute smarter campaigns, and the dominant players in analytics and attribution space continue to grow and roll out essential platform features and capabilities. All in all, Hall 8.1 was still buzzing and we anticipate that it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

The foldable phone frenzy

Possibly the most exciting hardware development of the event was the release of Huawei’s foldable phone. Unlike the inescapable trend of the ‘notch’ in 2017, this is a big development in introducing integral hardware changes to the smartphone device that will alter user interaction and behaviour. The star of the show, the Huawei Mate X, was gloriously cordoned off in a glass case from the attendees. The phone boasts innovative screen flexibility as the world’s fastest foldable 5G phone.

Source: https://consumer.huawei.com/uk/phones/mate-x/

Huawei is not the only manufacturer dabbling in the foldable phone. The Samsung Galaxy Fold, Xiaomi ‘Dual Flex’ and others, also had visibility at MWC. Much like the prerequisite hype towards 5G adoption, the big manufacturers have made it clear that there is still some work to be done before bringing the foldable phones to market. Excitingly, there have also been rumours of Apple dabbling in the foldable phone market in future, with Apple granted another patent on a folding iPhone, including a double-fold design. In the lead up to its mainstream adoption it will be interesting to see how mobile and app developers deal with the changing form of the device.

All in all, MWC continues to excite us, especially as many of the developments we’ve anticipated over the years are finally coming to fruition. As the world of mobile tech continues to evolve and progress, we’re excited to see how network capabilities and hardware releases will offer new opportunities for app owners in the coming future.

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