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Mobile World Congress day one: here's what you need to know


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

February 26, 2018 | 4 min read

Mobile World Congress (MWC) has returned. This is what you need to know from day one.

MWC's hot topics

Samsung, RyanAir, Nokia and BT Sport provide some MWC highlights

Smartphone launches dominated headlines. Nokia revealed it was bringing back another old smartphone. Only it isn't, licencees HMD Global are, and the company wants you to pay attention to its new line of devices. Pekka Rantala, HMD Global executive vice president and chief marketing officer told The Drum there is more than nostalgia on offer at the company that looks to pay respect to the 150-year-old Nokia brand.

Elsewhere, Samsung's Galaxy S9 launched and it was defined by the emoji camera. There is every chance that emojis will tip the balance of the smartphone wars. Apparently firing back against Apple's iPhone 9 Animojis (a feature that lets people become cute emojis using their cameras), Samsung's own version promised to deliver 'The Camera. Reimagined'.

And finally, Sony also unveiled its new Xperia XZ2, which features a new vibrator mode. Sony followed in Apple’s stead and did away with the headphone jack. The new model boasts reduced bezels and a new finger print reader.

Here's some other stuff you might have missed.

  1. Ryanair’s chief technology officer admitted there is beef between digital, marketing and the CEO. Marketing, which is led by Kenny Jacobs, is constantly "dreaming up ways to torture" John Hurley while CEO Michael O’Leary will tell journalists about a product launch before the digital team.
  2. BT Sport chief executive Andrew Haworth explained why the Premier League rights are vital to the wider BT Group's growth plans. With matches clocking in at around £10m, the question whether shareholders feel like they are getting value from the rights was answered. Yes, apparently.
  3. Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN, wants the government to regulate Facebook and Google. He said the duopoly's unyielding dominance is the “biggest issue facing the growth of journalism in the years ahead".
  4. Delta, Sprint, and Gogo have joined forces to improve the quality of in-flight internet connectivity. The initiative is inviting other companies onboard.
  5. Spanish telco giant Telefonica has launched Aura, an artificial intelligence-powered digital assistant, in six countries, as well as announcing smart home device, Movistar Home. Aura will be released in Telefonica’s four core markets: Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Brazil), Spain, UK and Germany, from Friday.

This month’s issue of The Drum magazine focuses on the mobile sector with insights on the democratisation of photography and interview with US recording artist Ryan Leslie. Buy your copy of this issue and other copies through The Drum website.

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