The device launches at Mobile World Congress 2016 have been more diverse than ever and have included 360-degree cameras, virtual reality headsets, and smart home robots from providers such as Samsung, LG, Sony, ZTE, and TCL.
For Ronan de Renesse, Research Analyst, Ovum, such announcements will increase customer awareness of these new device segments, reflecting an attempt by manufacturers to offset stagnating smartphone sales.
“Samsung remains the leader in high-end flagship smartphone releases,” Renesse says.
“It offers unique innovation in screen and camera technology, such as its 12 megapixels “dual-pixel” camera sensor technology, which significantly improves low-light photography.”
In summarising the conference, Renesse says LG’s modular G5 smartphone is notable for restoring a removable battery and offering the ability to plug hardware modules into the phone, allowing consumers to improve the audio or camera capabilities and extend battery life.
However, this comes with trade-offs in terms of the design: the handset feels cheap and lacks robustness.
“Other, less-well-known companies are also present at MWC 2016,” Renesse adds.
For example, the Chinese OEM Cubot expanded aggressively in Europe in 2015 and is looking to take distribution to the next step. In addition, the handset-recycling company Redeem Group is taking advantage of the maturing smartphone market to buy and resell devices from operators’ recycling programs and has a run-rate of approximately 300,000 smartphones per month.