We’re now just a week away from the beginning of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade expo in Barcelona, but while many companies are holding back their announcements until the big event, the news has continued to pour in over the last seven days from across the mobile industry, and beyond.
We begin our review in the desktop computing space, as Intel’s next-gen ‘Skylake’ desktop-class CPUs have reportedly been been delayed until August. The new chips were expected to launch in Q2, and while the delay has not yet been confirmed, Intel is said to be holding their launch back to reduce overlap with its existing products.
On Wednesday, the Internet Engineering Steering Group announced that it had finalized the new HTTP/2 standard, the first major overhaul of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) for 16 years. HTTP is one of the most important technologies used on the web, and the updated standard brings multiple improvements based on Google’s SPDY/2 protocol.
On Tuesday, HTC confirmed the new One will be unveiled on March 1, the day before MWC 2015 kicks off in Barcelona. Two days later, the company tweeted that “something HUGE is coming from HTC”, leading some to speculate that it may be planning to launch another device alongside the One M9.
Over in the UK, the country’s largest independent device retailer has already opened registrations for the new HTC One, as well as for Samsung’s new Android flagship, the Galaxy S6, which will be revealed in Barcelona on the same day.
Samsung revealed an official glimpse of the new Galaxy S6 this week. “I am #TheNextGalaxy” seems to be the theme of this pre-launch campaign, but the company isn’t giving away everything about its new phone just yet.
Samsung announced this week that it has acquired LoopPay, the company behind the mobile payments platform of the same name. Samsung will be hoping that its massive scale will help it to establish LoopPay as the de facto standard for Android users who seek an Apple Pay-style integrated solution.
Google launched its Android One program in the Philippines this week, with two affordable new handsets built by its local hardware partners - the MyPhone Uno and Cherry One - which will go on sale “in the coming weeks”.
For those with more expensive tastes, LG is said to be developing a new luxury wearable aimed at the fashion-conscious buyer which is expected to make an appearance at MWC in March. Curiously, though, the Android Wear-powered watch won’t include GPS and isn’t even water-resistant.
Ooh, such luxury.
Just 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches were shipped to retailers (i.e. not necessarily sold to customers yet) worldwide last year. Meanwhile, Pebble – which launched its first device in mid-2013 after a $10m crowdfunding campaign – sold its millionth smartwatch by the end of last year.
On Thursday, a mysterious countdown appeared on Pebble’s homepage, which is due to end on February 24 at 1400 GMT. It’s not yet clear what the company has in store, but given how successfully it has built its products and platform so far, we’re certainly intrigued.