CES 2015: Lack Of Killer Phones Sets Up MWC - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Business
News
1/9/2015
12:15 PM
100%
0%

CES 2015: Lack Of Killer Phones Sets Up MWC

With few new devices on display at CES, the major phone makers face increasing pressure to deliver at Mobile World Congress in March.

Top 10 Social Network Blunders Of 2014
Top 10 Social Network Blunders Of 2014
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

The Consumer Electronics Show wraps up Friday in Las Vegas. Exhibitors showed off thousands of new products, including 4K TVs, wearables, drones, and other connected devices. A few companies trotted out smartphones, but many of the industry's biggest players had nothing new on hand. Though the last few months of 2014 saw many exciting products reach the market, smartphone makers can't rest on their laurels for long. Mobile World Congress is right around the corner, after all, and it promises to be a whopper.

Samsung is under tremendous pressure. The company had a disastrous 2014. It reported a steep profit decline during the third quarter and has already warned of a similar drop during the fourth. The Galaxy S5 (announced at MWC last year) failed to resonate with smartphone buyers the way the GS4 and GS3 did. Reports suggest Samsung has gone back to the drawing board for an all-new Galaxy S6, which is expected to make an appearance at MWC this year. Samsung needs the GS6 to get the company's smartphone sales headed back in the right direction. At the same time, it must shore up sales of low-end products, where it has lost ground to Chinese competitors.

While HTC also sat out CES 2015, the struggling Taiwanese phone maker was happy to talk about the future. The company is pivoting in a new direction: It will continue to make smartphones but also plans to pursue a connected device strategy. HTC already has a new camera in the market, and it will follow that up with more device categories. HTC made it clear, however, that its annual flagship phone refresh is on the way. The company debuted the One (M7) and One (M8) in between CES and MWC in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Whether or not HTC uses the lull between tradeshows to show off its 2015 model isn't clear, but we'll see it by MWC at the latest.

[Broadband regulation debate heats up at CES. Read CES 2015: FCC's Wheeler Stirs Net Neutrality Pot.]

Motorola was quiet during CES. In fact, it was represented by only a single tablet in Lenovo's space (Lenovo finalized its purchase of Motorola on Oct. 30 last year). Motorola introduced a trio of new phones in September, and it will be a while before we see new hardware from the former Google property. Company representatives indicated Motorola's presence (or lack thereof) at MWC will be similar to its CES presence.

Then there's Microsoft. Sure, it outed a cheap feature phone for emerging markets at CES, but it has been far too long since the company released a flagship smartphone. Microsoft announced the last noteworthy Lumia devices in September. We can blame Windows 10 for the delay in new Windows Phone hardware. Microsoft is believed to be previewing Windows 10 -- including the new phone UI -- on Jan. 21. If Microsoft is smart, it will use MWC to announce the first wave of Windows 10 smartphones, even if they won't come to market until later in the year.

Like Microsoft, Sony hasn't released a major new phone since September. Sony said it was comfortable with its mobile device portfolio heading into the New Year and was purposefully leaving space between device announcements. The company hinted that it will have more to say about smartphones at MWC. At CES, Sony took the opportunity to show off its 4K TVs, 4K video cameras, and wearables.

Smaller smartphone companies stole the spotlight at CES this year. ZTE, Alcatel, Lenovo, Asus, and Huawei all had new gear on display, some of which is headed to the US. It's pretty clear that the majority of big smartphone brands are spacing out their new device launches, with fewer each year. With its focus on mobile, however, MWC is a can't-miss opportunity for big and small phone makers alike.

Attend Interop Las Vegas, the leading independent technology conference and expo series designed to inspire, inform, and connect the world's IT community. In 2015, look for all new programs, networking opportunities, and classes that will help you set your organization’s IT action plan. It happens April 27 to May 1. Register with Discount Code MPOIWK for $200 off Total Access & Conference Passes.

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 2
tjgkg
50%
50%
tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2015 | 4:09:17 PM
Re: Interesting about Samsung...
But now smartphones are a style trend too. I have seen an alarming amount of 8th graders with iPhones that mom and dad bought them. And for what? To text or go on FB? THere are many other cheaper phones that do those things, but these kids have peer pressure so they have to get these phones even though it is a waste of money.
tjgkg
50%
50%
tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2015 | 4:05:45 PM
Re: Interesting about Samsung...
While i agree with you that a battery that lasts much longer would be a great thing to have, i don't think it is the "sexy" feature that will push a phone over the top. Those features tend to be impractical while the more practical and useful features are expected to be standard!
tjgkg
50%
50%
tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2015 | 3:41:14 PM
Wearables
I think the focus of companies this year has been in wearable devices not smartphones. THey are clearly trying to market those devices as the next big thing although they have been slow to catch on.  There really hasn't been that much innovation in smartphones-including the iPhone in a while. No gotta have items for quite some time. And those that have top line phones don't use most of the features. I think a lot of companies are waiting to see how the Apple watch turns out.
lacertosus
50%
50%
lacertosus,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/9/2015 | 3:38:45 PM
Re: Interesting about Samsung...
Also, would like to see these companies focus less on phones and pay more attention to batteries. The next breakthrough phone will be the one with the most innovative battery which we have yet to see. 

 
lacertosus
100%
0%
lacertosus,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/9/2015 | 3:28:33 PM
Re: Interesting about Samsung...
You might also want to consider other phones that are comprable with highend phones, in lots of cases they exceed them in specs, such as The One Plus or Blue. You get more for 1/2 the price. 

 
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2015 | 2:43:34 PM
Re: Interesting about Samsung...
I think there is space for a number of different smartphone makers, both large and small. It takes the smaller players to come out with interesting innovative features, and the big guys spend a ton of money creating blockbuster technology. I would rather see more competitors than fewer ones, that is for sure. 
progman2000
50%
50%
progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2015 | 2:28:10 PM
Interesting about Samsung...
I'm due to go new-phone hunting soon.  I currently use the Galaxy Note II, this has me wondering now what I should do - hold out for the Galaxy S6, or grab the last generation that will probably see a significant price decline.  What to do...
<<   <   Page 2 / 2
Commentary
What Becomes of CFOs During Digital Transformation?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/4/2020
News
Fighting the Coronavirus with Analytics and GIS
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/3/2020
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Job Skills in High Demand This Year
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  2/3/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll