2012년 모바일 월드 콩그레스에서 방문객들이 삼성 갤럭시 S를 살펴보고 있다. (블룸버그)
매년 2월 스페인 바르셀로나에서 열리는 모바일 월드 콩그레스가 10여일 남짓 남았다.
올해 “모바일의 새로운 지평선”이라는 주제로 열리는 MWC에는 전세계 통신사들과 전자업체들이 모여 25일부터 28일까지 4일간 혁신적인 제품과 차세대 네트워크 기술을 선보일 예정이다.
시장조사업체인 Strategy Analytics 에 따르면 올해 3대 화두는 4G 패블릿 (phablets), 부상하는 중국 업체들과 구글의 안드로이드 플랫폼이 아닌 다른 모바일 플랫폼을 사용하고 있는 기기들의 증가추세다.
“우리는 MWC에서 공개되는 LTE 스마트폰 중 비중 있는 숫자가 5인치 대나 그 이상인 디스플레이를 탑재할 것으로 예상한다”고 SA 측은 밝혔다.
또, “화웨이와 ZTE 또한 더 큰 존재감을 과시할 것이고 이들은 3G와 4G 네트워크를 사용하는 많은 하드웨어 기기와 소프트웨어 그리고 서비스까지 보여줄 것”이라고 했다.
올해 MWC에서는 업계에서 잘 알려진 인물들이 기조연설을 하는데 이 중 KT의 이석채 회장이 국내 기업 중에서는 유일하게 26일 오전 기조연설을 하게 될 것으로 알려졌다.
이와 관련해, 삼성전자는 매년 열리는 이 행사에서 8인치 태블릿인 갤럭시 노트 8을 앞세워 글로벌 태블릿 시장에서의 입지를 더욱 확대해나겠다는 입장이다.
또, LG전자는 새로운 전략폰인 옵티머스 G 프로와 함께 옵티머스 L시리즈 2와 저가형 LTE 스마트폰인 F 시리즈 그리고 옵티머스 뷰2를 유럽시장에 선보임으로 인해 LG의 글로벌 스마트폰 점유율을 높이겠다는 각오를 다지고 있다.
<관련 영문기사>Telecoms, handset makers brace for global top mobile trade show
The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is coming in less than 10 days with global telecoms and handset makers prepping to present their innovative technologies and gadgets.
Themed the “New mobile horizon,” local big names like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics as well as telecoms SK Telecom and KT will take part in the world’s biggest mobile trade show from Feb. 25-28.
According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, the official partner for the show, three major trends to watch are the rise of 4G “phablets,” increased presence of Chinese brands, and devices moving beyond Google’s Android mobile operating system.
“We expect a large chunk of flagship LTE smartphones announced at the MWC 2013 to have screens of at least 5 inches in size,” it said. “Huawei and ZTE will have a major presence at the show. They will be keen to talk up their 3G and 4G offerings for hardware, software and services.”
Smartphones and tablet PCs running on Microsoft’s Windows 8 and possibly Tizen will be displayed throughout the show to grab visitors’ attention, it said.
The four-day mobile conference will also feature keynote sessions by a number of well-known industrial names such as Randall Stephenson, president and chief executive of AT&T, China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua, KT Corp. chief executive Lee Suk-chae, Kaoru Kato, president of NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm chairman Paul Jacobs and Vodafone chief Vittorio Colao.
In the keynote session on Feb. 26, KT’s Lee will discuss the future direction of telecoms such as the way into virtual goods and the need to move beyond telecom services, said Kim Yoon-jeung, a spokesperson for KT.
KT’s local rival SKT is planning to introduce the next-generation communications networks such as LTE-A in line with the theme of the mobile trade show, its official said.
As for the Korean device manufacturers, Samsung will focus on its first 8-inch tablet named the Galaxy Note 8 as it is looking to strengthen its position in that particular sector this year.
The firm’s mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun said last month that the firm would launch the 8-inch device, which would most likely carry the S pen function, in Barcelona, while denying it would release a smartphone running on the Tizen OS at the trade show.
LG, on the other hand, will feature a new lineup of smartphones at the event that includes the new flagship Optimus G Pro, Optimus L Series, F Series and the Optimus Vu 2.
The 5.5-inch Optimus G Pro, which will be launched by this month, is a follow-up model to the firm’s flagship Optimus G, which was put together by LGE and its affiliates. It is expected to be equipped with a quad-core applications processor and also a Full High Definition Display.
The handset is set to roll out in Korea, North America and Japan.
Another new lineup called the Optimus L Series II -- Optimus L3 II, Optimus L5 II and Optimus L7 II -- as well as budget LTE phones in the F Series will be available for display in Barcelona.
The makers say the L Series will show off four new design elements: a seamless layout, laser cut contours, radiant rear design and smart LED lighting on the home button.
The devices, all running on Google’s Android mobile operating system, have 3.2-inch, 4-inch and 4.3-inch displays and are equipped with high-capacity batteries, according to an LG official.
For the second L Series, a dual-SIM version of the 4.3-inch Optimus L7 II will be the first to roll out in Russia this Saturday, ahead of the Barcelona congress. A dual-SIM version enables the user to set up two different numbers on a single handset, such as one for work and one for personal use.
LG’s unique features like QuickMemo, which allows users to capture and share handwritten ideas with others, and Safety Care, which provides emergency call forwarding, phone non-usage notice and location notice, will also be available in the upcoming series, its company officials said.
Meanwhile, Japanese electronics maker Sony is expected to showcase a 6.44-inch phablet, while Huawei is also holding a press conference ahead of the MWC for possibly a phablet introduction as well as the world’s first smartphone equipped with an octa-core mobile application processor for improved processing power and lower energy use.
By Cho Ji-hyun