The buzz around the first 5G-enabled smartphone and foldable devices will be the talk of the town as the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 opens in Barcelona next week.
According to Thomas Husson, vice-president and principal analyst at Forrester, a global market research firm, the sessions on 5G and foldable phones are likely to cast a shadow over MWC.
"There is no denying that 5G is the infrastructure of the connected world, and precisely the reason why it is at the centre of the economic and political war between the US and China," Husson said.
"However, the reality is that it will take another five to seven years before it reaches critical mass among consumers in most countries.
"While we will hear a lot about the first 5G smartphones, the challenge is to simultaneously roll-out the infrastructure and it will take time, especially in Europe where spectrum allocation remains a mess at a country level," he added.
Several smartphone and telecom infrastructure players are set to showcase their technologies at the event that begins from February 24 through February 28.
"It is likely top smartphone brands will claim to have reinvented smartphone design. However, it will take longer for these foldable screens to reinvent the smartphone category and deliver differentiated experiences," said Husson.
Foldable screens will accelerate the convergence between smartphones, tablets and laptops, progressively unleashing a new form factor.
According to Paul Miller, Senior Analyst at Forrester, early experiments in augmented and virtual reality have matured and we'll see tangible proof points of real value at the MWC.
"Endless pilots and proofs of concept in IoT are also maturing, reaching beyond the operational teams where they began into the mainstream business, where they simplify existing processes and open the door to new service-based business models," he added.
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