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Mobile World congress: first day impressions with an Asia perspective

Created: 26 Feb 2013
Marie Pettersson's picture
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Day 2 has started and all the impressions from Day 1 are being gathered and processed. Asia has a huge representation and yesterday I met Japanese, Chinese and Koreans every two meters in the exhibition. It is clearly a global show where all and everyone in the industry take part. Some of my key observations and reflections from yesterday I have gathered here. More to come today!

Phablets and affordable devices with LTE functionality

More tablets getting to the market and prices are increasingly more competitive where Lenovo was launching multiple models where Acer Iconia Tab A700, Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD and Google Nexus 10 are the key competitors. The Lenovo A3000 and A1000 both feature 7" displays, and will allow for tablet adoption in emerging regions. On the phablet side (phone/tablet), Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the biggest and loudest launch so far.

On the handset side Nokia is leading the way for the lower end segment, releasing a series of budget and midrange handsets, adding to the Windows Phone 8 range, with Lumia 720 and 520. At the budget end was the Nokia 150, a 15-euro phone, which with a 1.5-inch screen and weeks' worth of battery life in standby mode.  LG also showed equal determination on their focus on mid-range budget alternatives with F7 and F5 including LTE functionality.

For Asia, this is good news and considering that China Mobile is already covering the 15 biggest cities with LTE, the demand for LTE enabled phones to an affordable price is real. It also clear that the Asian suppliers are gaining traction and market share across the board.

Mobile OS sprawl rather than consolidation

Mozilla is moving up the list when Sony revealed that they will launch a phone built with Firefox next year. Samsung are also looking to provide an alternative with Tizen, but also notes that Android and Windows Phone will still be offered. Other names mentioned were Ubuntu, and there might be more. This trend is not helping enterprises to support employee mobility though. The ever changing open source developed platforms are complicating how security can me uphold and will in some cases decrease the uptake and deployment of for example BYOD, purely out of fear for security breaches.

Mobile innovation and security

Mobile innovation is high in Asia compared to the rest of the world (Symantec State of Mobility survey 2013), and that is no big surprise. Yet, it comes paired with the acceptance of higher number of incidents and in addition the hardware suppliers keep pushing out new models, OS sprawling and numbers of devices growing at an unforeseen pace. The question is of course, for any enterprise to ask themselves how we support mobility in the short run, but also make sure to work for the bigger plan rather than putting point solutions in to place. It is a fact that 95% of Asia Pacific companies have BYOD initiatives in place, while only 20% have policies or frameworks related to those initiatives (IDC numbers). It makes me a little bit worried… Watch out for an upcoming IDC whitepaper with more on this topic.