The cat is out of the bag. Following HTC and LG, Huawei also pulled back from bringing its new flagship smartphone to MWC 2018, allowing Samsung to be the center of attention.
After receiving the invitation to Huawei's event in Paris, it was obvious that they will not be presenting any devices at MWC in Barcelona. Instead, it’s rumored that they could show a new tablet. Whatever it will be, it’s hard not think that Huawei wanted to avoid competing against Samsung and failing. That’s certainly not the only reason, but I would be surprised if it wasn’t a contributing factor in the decision.
What could explain the delay?
Of course, Huawei hasn’t publicly mentioned reasons for this decision and it’s likely to be a combination of several things. For example, perhaps the successor to the P10 wasn’t finished on time, or the progress of the production isn’t enough to keep up with demands. If Huawei were to start sales immediately after the presentation; it would be quite frustrating as a customer to wait six weeks or more for a new smartphone. In addition, It could cause a problem for partners and providers when both Android heavyweights reveal their best flagships on the same day.
Given the location that Huawei has booked for MWC, we could already guess that the manufacturers plan would be different. The Barcelona International Convention Center is exactly where Samsung presented the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S8, and Huawei will occupy a small area of the huge hall. In recent years, the spaces used by Huawei were too small and were overflowing with crowds.
Huawei P20 will premiere in Paris
As mentioned, Huawei will be showing the device during the event in Paris just under a month later. This can have its advantages, such as having the undivided attention of the media, or the ability to bring the product to market faster immediately after the show. On the other hand, the Galaxy S9 will be available for purchase sooner, giving Samsung time to get a solid head start.
In addition to Huawei skipping the fair in Barcelona, it is less surprising that LG and HTC have dropped out. LG had already made this official through changing their smartphone release strategy, and HTC hasn't presented any flagships in Barcelona for years. Both manufacturers are also financially weak, having lost a lot of relevance and shares in the market, unlike Huawei, which is about to conquer second place behind Samsung.
MWC 2018: Others now have a chance
There is still hope for the Barcelona fair. Sony will open the first day of the event with its usual press conference, and will most likely show off the successor to the XZ Premium, which will probably be called the Xperia XZ Pro. Sony is a long-term player in the electronics business, and does not seem to care about the competition, as its name still pulls a crowd. HMD Global wants to use this tactic with the new Nokia smartphones.
The Finns of HMD Global have announced that they have "something big" in store MWC. Probably a new flagship that could have as many as five cameras on the back. Also announcing something in Barcelona will be companies such as Motorola, Xiaomi, Wiko, Asus, and Alcatel.
Fear not, MWC will be far from boring. Of course, Samsung is laughing after the successful announcement of the unveiling of the S9 that will undoubtedly outshine the competition. This however means that the Korean manufacturer will have to deliver. The underdogs will have to up their game for a chance to seize the spotlight, and this is what makes it exciting this year!
What are you looking forward to seeing most at MWC? And please, don’t all say Samsung!