Most notable device announcements that came out of MWC in the last 10 years
All eyes are on Mobile World Congress 2018, which shouldn't be too surprising given how this year's show is shaping up to be one of the busiest in recent memory – thanks in part to the number of flagships we're expecting to see. For anyone in mobile, this particular tradeshow can really help to propel a company into the limelight, while also establishing the pacing for the rest of the year. Some announcements end up providing the spark that's necessary in generating sales later, so it's always quite interesting to know that these unveilings at Mobile World Congress are crucial.
We've seen several notable devices unveiled and announced during mobile's largest tradeshow. That's why we thought that we'd go down memory lane and look back at some of the biggest announcements that happened at Mobile World Congress in the last 10 years. Needless to say, there are some announcements that are fresh on our minds, but others on this list might surprise you! A decade is a long time in the smartphone industry, so it's just amazing to think back where we were back then versus now.
Being the most recent, many of these phones are still fresh on our minds. The LG G6 managed to turn heads with its radical change, especially given how the LG G5 before it ended up being a wash for the Korean giant. Samsung had a quieter affair in comparison to previous years, as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 was its only notable offering. Huawei did nicely to unveil its P10 and P10 Plus, which were notable for their color choices and dual-camera configurations. And lastly, there was the BlackBerry KeyOne, which showed us why physical keyboards aren't dead just yet.
The LG G5 made some new friends during its unveiling, but even though there was interest with its modular design, it didn't end up being a hit amongst consumers when it launched. For Samsung, they kept the moment from the previous year with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which brought back a water-resistant design.
Without question, the biggest announcement from MWC 2015 came from Samsung! The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge reshaped the flagship line's design with a more premium glass meets metal package, versus the plastic constructions we were used to getting. Aside from that, the HTC One M9 was the only other major standout from the 2015 show.
Samsung as usual kept things interesting with its flagship, the Galaxy S5, which still went after the more is better approach by adding water resistance amongst other things to a phone with a plastic housing. The Sony Xperia Z2 wasn't necessarily a revolutionary device in the company's lineup, but it still nonetheless attracted attention during its announcement at MWC 2014.
It's hard to imagine LG kicked into high gear with the LG Optimus G Pro at MWC 2013, the smartphone that ended up spawning its popular flagship G-line. It might've been five years ago, but it was one of those pinnacle moments that catapulted the Korean maker into the spotlight as a premier player in the Android sphere. Aside from that, we did get two notable tablet unveilings in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 and the Sony Xperia Tablet Z.
Arguably one of the best camera phones of all-time, the Nokia 808 PureView made its official debut at MWC 2012 and enthralled everyone with its whopping 41-megapixel camera. It's hard to imagine HTC without its signature metal phones, but back in 2012, the company's HTC One X managed to make plastic a thing with its polycarbonate frame.
Capitalizing on its venture with its flagship caliber smartphone the prior year, Samsung debuted the Galaxy S II during Mobile World Congress 2011. It was by far the most notable announcement during the show, but the LG Optimus 3D did manage to steal a little bit of attention with its 3D display. Meanwhile, the long-awaited Sony PlayStation PSP phone finally made its debut with the Sony Xperia Play.
Seeing the rise of Android as a prominent player in the smartphone landscape at the time, the metal bodied HTC Legend with its distinguishable chin, managed to be the biggest phones announced at MWC 2010. HTC didn't stop there, as they also announced the HTC Desire and its Windows Mobile powered HTC HD mini. The show also marked our introduction to Samsung's Bada OS with the Wave!
MWC 2009 was the last major hoorah for Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform, as we saw notable handsets like the HTC Touch Diamond 2 and HTC Touch Pro2, which are regarded as the last great smartphones released for the platform. HTC wasn't done yet, just because the HTC Magic became the company's second ever Android powered smartphone. Elsewhere, we also saw the introduction of the Symbian based Samsung OMNIA HD and the translucent LG GD900 Crystal.
It's hard to imagine they were announced a decade ago, but looking back at this trio definitely will make anyone appreciate how much the landscape has changed dramatically. The follow-up to the Nokia N95, the N96, helped to keep the Finnish company interesting after the original iPhone's arrival. Sony made an impression by embracing Windows Mobile with the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, while the Sony Ericsson W910 "Walkman" phone appealed to music enthusiasts.