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Which brands & products stood out at MWC ’15?

The Mobile World Congress 2015 concluded with various brands making a splash to show they future ready products. Amobee used its Brand Intelligence platform to identify the brands and products consumption at the MWC 2015.

The top line findings indicate:
• Samsung was the biggest winner, at MWC, due to the Samsung Galaxy S6 launch and the introduction of Samsung Pay
• After Samsung, Apple was the brand most associated with MWC, despite not attending the event, showing the long shadow they cast over the tech industry.
• High interest around smart watches at the convention, including the Huawei Watch, Pebble Time, and LG Watch Urbane indicate the wearables category is about to break out at the consumer level in a big way.

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Brands at MWC
• Considering the reception around the Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and Samsung Pay; it’s no surprise that Samsung was also the brand most associated with MWC between March 2-4. Meanwhile, remember the narrative about how Apple is casting a long shadow over MWC? There was 76 per cent as much MWC related consumption around Apple as around Samsung, despite only one of those two brands actually being at the conference. Primarily around the HTC One M9 and HTC Vive, there was 46 76 per cent as much MWC related consumption around HTC as around Samsung during the three days.
• Tech giant Microsoft had 37 per cent as much MWC consumption as Samsung, for a wide range of reasons including new Lumia phone models, Microsoft Surface Pro 3, and not insignificantly, the artificial village they created in the convention space which included flowers, grass, and a hot air balloon. Sometimes it’s not just about products, it’s also about presentation.
• Sony had 28 per cent as much MWC related consumption as Samsung between March 2-4, mostly around their Xperia line, Blackberry has 25 per cent as much MWC related consumption around the Leap, with Huawei also having 25% as much MWC related consumption as Samsung, around their smartwatch and 7-inch phablet. Facebook had 24 per cent as much MWC related consumption as Samsung, with Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote address the focal point for that interest. While LG debuted a handful of new phones at the event, they had 23 per cent as much MWC related consumption primarily around the LG Watch Urbane, their own smart watch solution. Finally, Intel generated 14 per cent as much interest as Samsung around the event, with their Atom modems as the biggest reason why.

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Products at MWC
• Through the first three days of the convention, March 2-4, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge was the product with the most MWC related consumption, with the audience wowed by its innovative three sided screen, and the Samsung Galaxy S6 version of the phone having 93 per cent as much MWC related consumption. With both versions, the online discussion was heavily around the sleek, thin design and first class camera; with some push back around the exclusion of replaceable batteries and storage expansion slots in the two version of the phone. There was also 37 per cent as much MWC related consumption around Samsung Pay as around the Galaxy S6 Edge. The new solution which was unveiled alongside the two S6 models is Samsung’s answer to Apple Pay and will not only be NFC comparable but works with magnetic strip readers as well.
• With 66 per cent as much MWC related consumption as around the S6 Edge, the HTC One M9 was the non-Samsung product that made the biggest splash at the event. With no particular feature standing out as being more talked about, a lot of the conversation around how while the M9 is a great phone; it’s an upgrade over HTC’s previous flagship model, as opposed to a radical new direction.
• Continuing the narrative around Blackberry’s revival, the Blackberry Leap had 41 per cent as much MWC related consumption as the S6 Edge between March 2-4. Departing (though not for the first time) from Blackberry’s qwerty roots, the entirely touchscreen device is targeted at young professionals, with a lot of consumption around its mid-market price point.
• While Sony didn’t debut a new flagship phone at the event, the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet had 38 per cent as much MWC related consumption as the S6 Edge, with attention focused on how it’s the lightest and slimmest tablet yet from the brand. Slim, along with battery life, were also the big selling point of the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua, which had 32 per cent as much MWC related consumption as the S6 Edge between March 2-4.
• As it happens with nearly every tech convention, Apple cast a long shadow over the event. There was 37 per cent as much MWC related consumption around Apple Watch as around the S6 Edge, with the whole point being Apple has no presence at the conference. They’ve scheduled a ‘Spring forward’ event for March 9 where the remaining details around the Apple Watch launch are expected to be announced. Scheduling the announcement so close to MWC without actually having it there fits into Apple’s “it’s not TV, it’s HBO” approach to differentiating themselves from competitors.
• Keeping with the wearable watch theme, there was 35 per cent as much MWC related consumption around the Huawei Watch, as around the S6 Edge between March 2-4. Hailed by some as the big surprise hit of the conference, the Huawei Watch features an Android OS, scratch-proof crystal sapphire lens, and a more circular display compared to competitors that more closely resembles traditional watches. Just missing out of the Top 10 products at the event, Pebble Time Steel had 29% as much MWC related consumption as the S6 Edge; the more upmarket version of the same smart watch that broke Kickstarter records the week before.
• Between the collective level of interest around the Apple Watch, Huawei Watch, and Pebble Time it looks like smart watches are about to break out in a huge way.
• Finally, representing virtually reality innovation, the HTC Vive had 30% as much MWC related consumption as the S6 Edge between March 2-4. Providing some of the biggest ‘wow’ factor at the event, the headset offered Matrix like immersion, that utilizing 70 sensors, offers a “full-room-scale 360-degree solution”.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.
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