Samsung, BlackBerry, Microsoft: 10 Killer Business Devices At MWC - InformationWeek

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3/4/2015
01:05 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Samsung, BlackBerry, Microsoft: 10 Killer Business Devices At MWC

MWC was a whirlwind of announcements from phone makers, chip vendors, network operators, and app developers, including Samsung, LG, BlackBerry, Microsoft, and more. Here are the 10 devices for business from the show.
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BARCELONA – Mobile World Congress, the world's largest mobile trade show, saw gobs of new hardware, new operating systems, and new applications this week. With tens of thousands of attendees, the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona was a madhouse of activity as leading technology companies rolled out their latest and greatest wares.

Vendors were excited to reveal smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and other wearables, as well as all the silicon, services, and software required to tie it all together. Popular talking points included 5G, the Internet of Things, security, and how Silicon Valley is transforming the automotive industry.

Google's Sundar Pichai and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg each took turns on the keynote stage. Pichai confirmed Android Pay and a Google-run wireless network are on the way, while Zuckerberg talked up bringing connectivity to the world's emerging markets. The FCC's Tom Wheeler also made comments, seeking support for his net neutrality plans.

Enterprise security received lots of attention, especially from Samsung and BlackBerry. BlackBerry announced plans to fully support Google's Android, BlackBerry, Apple iOS, and Microsoft Windows Phone with its BES 12, while Samsung added more of BlackBerry's security features it its own KNOX platform.

MediaTek, Intel, and Qualcomm all had new chips to discuss. MediaTek's processors took a quantum leap forward by ditching 32-bit computing, while Intel outed three major mobile processors targeting premium smartphones and tablets. Qualcomm continued to refine its broad product map and has set its sights on LTE over unlicensed spectrum as the next wireless frontier.

Microsoft revealed more details about Windows 10 on phones. The company spent much of its time discussing the Project Spartan browser and how it will work on smaller devices. Microsoft is adding a Reading List view to the browser to make it easier to consume articles, for example. Project Spartan is a universal app that will work equally well on desktops, tablets, and phones. The email application looks particularly impressive, since it is easier to set calendar appointments, to compose and edit messages, and to flag and archive messages with simple swipes.

Wireless charging technology saw several wins this week, too. To start, the Samsung Galaxy S6 supports the two major competing wireless charging standards, making it easier for consumers to find compatible accessories. MediaTek showed off a new wireless charging module that supports three wireless charging standards. Moreover, Ikea agreed to start building wireless charging pads into its furniture.

These are all exciting developments in the mobile landscape, but there were other, more impressive things on the show floor. In the slides that follow you'll learn about some of the most significant devices and technologies revealed at MWC 2015.

(All photos by Eric Zeman, who is attending MWC this week in Barcelona, Spain.)

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

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Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
3/9/2015 | 10:09:36 AM
HuaWei watch
I am interested in HuaWei watch. With Android platform, I can install Mi App to it so that I can remotely control my air purifier, TV, power socket. But I have a concern for battery life - will it still just last for 4-5 hours?
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
3/5/2015 | 4:56:52 PM
Re: More Promises from Microsoft
@DDURBIN1,

I think Microsoft is going through some Growing Pains, since they've had to make a lot of changes but within the organization and it's business strategies to adapt to current and future demand.... and from my perspective these types of changes for an organization as big as microsoft takes time.

But I'd rather they take there time and provide good products (using the windows insider program to showcase that they are busy), versus simply trying to output products that are a hit and miss.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
3/5/2015 | 4:03:53 PM
Re: More Promises from Microsoft
@DDURBIN1 No doubt there are plenty of people thinking the same thing, and I think that's why Microsoft is rolling out a few preview versions of the mobile Windows 10 before it launches. The first mobile preview recently launched, so people with Windows Phones can test it out and give feedback. The goal seems to be that if people can get a sense of what's coming and give their opinion, then Microsoft can develop a viable flagship phone before year's end.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
3/5/2015 | 3:48:10 PM
Re: More Promises from Microsoft
@Kelly22,  The "free" download of Win10 is not much of a motivator in the mobile market since Microsoft has done such a terrible job of upgradablity in the past.  Without a "rough" demo of a Win10 phone now how likely is MS going to have a viable product out before October 2015 the start of the Christmas buying season?
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
3/5/2015 | 3:38:00 PM
Re: More Promises from Microsoft
@mejiac,  The Lumia phones are now actually quite good.  The 640 XL is 5.7 inches same as the Note 4 but pales in comparison.   The additional code volumne from XP to Win8 is only about 18%.  How much more could be added to Win10? How does a company who expertise is in software developemnt have longest lagging developement cycles in the industry?  
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
3/5/2015 | 3:33:52 PM
Re: More Promises from Microsoft
@mejiac absolutely. I think the stronger focus on cloud in Windows 10 will make a big difference in productivity, with people collaborating all over the world.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
3/5/2015 | 3:28:01 PM
Re: Samsung S6 missing features
@mejiac,  I'd be willing to bet both the S4 and S5 were product designed in the US but the S6 was designed in S. Korea.  I've got a Note 4.  The battery life is amazing compaired to my S3 so I think Samsung figures the battery technology for the S6 is even better so why bother with a replaceable battery.  I do wish my Note 4 had water resistance.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
3/5/2015 | 2:29:06 PM
Re: Samsung S6 missing features
@DDURBIN1,

Thank you for your comment, and I agreed, the removal of the main features that they used to market as part of there appeal versus other phones is definitly not a good welcome.

In my mind, they're basically saying that Apple was right all along on not providing a removable battery and expandable storage, since it would allow for a more robust design.

What's even more funny is that the device is no longer waterproof.

I think this is evident that whomever designed the previous S5 phone is no longer with Samsung, since the change in directation is too noticeable.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
3/5/2015 | 2:24:41 PM
Re: More Promises from Microsoft
@DDURBIN1,

It maybe that the development cycle for Windows 10 phone is behind of what was the Lumia delivery. It was perhaps one of those cases where either they delayed the launch of the Lumia, or move forward with it with the caviat that it would later be easilly upgraded.

If blackberry had followed that approach, instead of constantly pushing out release dates, it might have been a different story for them.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
3/5/2015 | 2:22:31 PM
Re: More Promises from Microsoft
@Kelly22,

Agreed... I'm also very excited about a flagship windows phone running Windows 10.

Based on the Microsoft event held this january, Microsoft is definitly on the right trac, since even though both Google and Apple to provide some level of unity between there corresponding ecosystem, Microsoft is definitly making those bridges be closer.

I think because they're putting so much focus at the entreprise level will be a hugh seller for them, since it could easilly be something that leads to both greater productivty and collaboration.
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