Nokia, Sony and Samsung are expected to unveil a welter of fresh smartphones at Mobile World Congress later today, as the battle for dominance in 2014 sales charts gets underway.
The trio of handset makers are keen to showcase their latest innovations with Nokia branching away from Windows Phone to produce its first ever Android equipped handset, posing a direct challenge to Samsung and budget Chinese manufacturers.
Sony meanwhile is expected to its Xperia-branded product line with a new flagship device whilst Samsung seeks to maintain its position at the top of the tree with the latest iteration of its popular Galaxy line, the S5.
Commenting on the day ahead Forrester analyst Bryan Wang said: “Samsung’s low-end Android models will be the primary target and could break Samsung’s current product strategy. The players in the low-end Chinese market, will also be heavily impacted. The new Nokia devices might be considered better entry level smartphone devices for many consumers in emerging markets.”
Fellow Forrester analyst Thomas Husson added: "Beyond more competitive products in the lower-end of the smartphone market, this is a smart move to create a direct customer relationship through Nokia and Microsoft services and apps. However, this will put increasing pressure on Microsoft to deliver more differentiated experiences on Windows smartphones. They have to gain significant market share in 2014 to reach a critical mass audience naturally fostering the development of their ecosystem. It is disappointing no new Lumia devices were announced today."
Husson added: “Samsung will have to demonstrate its ability to lead innovation in the premium smartphone market with its new flagship Galaxy device. Despite huge marketing dollars, hardware specs alone will not be sufficient. Samsung will have to demonstrate its ability to do more on the software, content and services front.”