The Most Important Smartphone Event Of The Year Is Shaping Up To Be Huge

Samsung mobile world congressAPA Samsung booth at a previous MWC show.

Mobile World Congress, the annual tech show in Barcelona, is shaping up to be huge.

On Friday, HTC teased a big product announcement for March 1, the beginning of MWC. It will likely be for its new flagship smartphone, the next in its lineup of excellent “One” devices.

HTC has had a hard time the last few years. It makes some of the best Android devices in the world, but still can’t sell at the same volume as Apple, Samsung, and the Chinese startup Xiaomi.

At the same time, HTC has been hesitant to expand into new product categories like wearables. We’ve heard from people at the company that its smartwatch plans have been on hold until it feels confident it can offer a unique experience from what’s out there already.

We’ve also heard that HTC will launch an internet-connected home appliance some time this year. It’s unclear what that appliance will be and whether or not we’ll get to see it at MWC. But HTC wants to take a page out of Nest’s playbook and create a device that does one thing well. For example, Nest makes a thermostat that can adjust itself, which fixes a major hassle people have with them.

Samsung is also planning a splashy launch at MWC.

According to sources familiar with the company’s plans, it will announce two new versions of its upcoming Galaxy S6 phone. The primary version will be made out of metal, a departure from the plastic casings the company has used in the past. There will be another version with a curved screen, similar to the Galaxy Note Edge that launched late last year.

Finally, Samsung is planning to release a round smartwatch, similar to the Moto 360, which was praised by critics for its design. Samsung’s watch, however, is rumoured to feature a similar “digital crown” like the one Apple is featuring on its forthcoming Apple Watch.

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