Samsung, Microsoft, Qualcomm, LG Dominating MWC 2015

On March 2, Mobile World Congress will kick off, with announcements from Samsung, Microsoft, Qualcomm, HTC, and LG expected to take center stage.



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Mobile World Congress 2015 is shaping up to be a busy week full of exciting news and announcements. The show, held in Barcelona, Spain, is the biggest mobile-focused event in the world and is expected to draw more than 70,000 attendees from around the globe. The show floor may not open until Monday, March 2, but the event gets under way Sunday afternoon with nearly a dozen press conferences lined up.

This year will see major announcements from the likes of Samsung, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Intel, HTC, and many others. Much of the news will be concentrated on Sunday and Monday, which is when most of the major mobile announcements are scheduled. Here's a rundown on what to expect from the world's leading tech firms:

  • LG is hosting a small event the afternoon of Sunday, March 1, (7 a.m. EST) where it is expected to show off the LG Watch Urbane and Watch Urbane LTE for the first time. LG recently announced a new series of midrange smartphones, and those will be on site as well. It doesn't look like LG has a new phone in the works for MWC.
  • Huawei is holding an event at the same time as LG. It is not expected to announce a new smartphone, but the company does have an Android tablet and a wearable prepped for a Barcelona debut.
  • HTC and Alcatel OneTouch are both hosting events Sunday afternoon (10 a.m. EST), too. HTC is widely believed to be announcing the One M9, its flagship smartphone for the year. The device leaked earlier this week, so mobile watchers already have a good idea of what to expect. HTC teased that it has more than just a phone up its sleeve, so observers will have to wait and see what else the company has planned. Alcatel will surely have something to say, but there have been no solid leaks about the company's plans just yet.
  • Mozilla is also hosting an event Sunday evening (11 a.m. EST). The company will have a handful of Firefox devices on hand, including some new smartphones and maybe even a tablet. Mozilla's Firefox OS hasn't quite caught on yet, but it has a small toehold in a few countries.

Samsung will cap off Sunday's activities with the Galaxy S6, its flagship smartphone for 2015. Rumors about the device and its capabilities have been off the charts, as Samsung seeks a comeback hit with which to battle Apple. The GS6 will be big, will include cutting edge features, and should have a fresh face when compared to Samsung's GS5 and GS4 handsets. Notably, it may come with a curved screen, like the Galaxy Note Edge from last year. Samsung's event is planned for Sunday evening in Barcelona (12:30 p.m. EST).

Monday won't see any many phones, but will see lots from other players in the ecosystem.

Microsoft and Qualcomm have early morning announcements on deck (2:30 a.m. EST).

Microsoft will be talking more about Windows 10 for smartphones and may show off some new hardware, but that will be limited to low-end models. Microsoft is likely holding back on announcing a Windows 10 flagship smartphone -- something it's sorely lacking at the moment -- until its Build developer conference, scheduled for early May.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Qualcomm will be talking about its mobile processors and LTE modems. It may reveal the Snapdragon 820, which is believed to be its first custom-made 64-bit application processor.

As far as chipmakers go, Intel and MediaTek have announcements on deck as well. Neither company has events scheduled, but their teams have made it clear that news is forthcoming. Intel may be looking at a refresh of its mobile processor lineup for 2015.

[ Read about Apple's March 9 event.]

Visa is closing out Monday's activities (10 a.m. EST). The company has been pushing into the mobile payment space hard, and should have new partnerships to talk about.

Believe it or not, BlackBerry is kicking things off in Barcelona on Tuesday (2 a.m. EST). The subject up for discussion at its breakfast event is likely to focus on its enterprise software efforts and not new hardware. However, some rumors have suggested it will reveal a modified version of its Passport smartphone.

Sony doesn't have an event scheduled for MWC this year, but it is widely believed to be revealing the Xperia Z4 tablet at some point during the week. Kyocera will also have new hardware to show off, though it may not be stuff for the US.

Chinese vendors Xiaomi, Asus, ZTE, and Meizu have been fairly quiet ahead of the event, as has Lenovo. These companies likely won't have much to say.

Mobile World Congress 2015 is promising an avalanche of news and announcements. InformationWeek.com will be on site to provide live coverage.

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

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