Bendy phones and satellite connectivity – new handsets showcased at Barcelona’s MWC

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. novel / ˈnɒv əl / (adj.) – new and different from what has been known before

    The scientist made a novel discovery about the universe that could lead to more space explorations.

  2. adaptive / əˈdæp tɪv / (adj.) – having the ability to adjust according to the changing conditions or environment

    The adaptive learning platform customizes study plans based on individual progress and performance.

  3. float / floʊt / (v.) – to suggest a plan or idea for people to consider it

    James floated a creative concept that received positive feedback from the group.

  4. carve out (something) / kɑrv aʊt / (phrasal v.) – to remove from a larger whole

    She managed to carve out some time from her full and busy schedule to spend time with her family.

  5. differentiation / ˌdɪf əˌrɛn ʃiˈeɪ ʃən / (n.) – the process of showing or finding a difference between things that are compared

    The sales staff explained clearly the differentiation between the two new products.


Read the text below.

Want to see mobile phones of the future? Then Barcelona is the place to be.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress tech show, smaller brands are trying to find novel ways to stand out from the crowd.

Foldable phones are old news in Barcelona – here it’s all about really bendy handsets. Motorola and Lenovo’s adaptive display concept mobile phone is so flexible it could wrap around a wrist, or be temporarily bent so that it can stand unsupported.

It’s just one of the weird and wacky ideas being floated by the mobile phone industry at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress tech show.

Unsurprisingly, manufacturers are going big on AI – like the Deutsche Telecom concept phone. Instead of using apps, the phone simply has conversations with the user and books them the flights and hotels they need, makes videos of their recorded memories, or gives them recommendations for places they want to visit.

And if you’ve ever been annoyed by someone playing loud music on public transport, close your ears now. ZTE is showing off its Nubia Music phone which comes with a high-quality “ultra-loud” built-in speaker.

These innovations are attempts to carve out a portion of a market that last year totaled 1.17 billion units, according to the market intelligence company International Data Corporation.

But the two top brands account for around 40 percent of those sales between them.

“The mobile phone market is particularly challenging right now because it’s dominated by two big players, Apple and Samsung. If you’re a smaller player with lower volumes, you’ve got to find some ways to innovate and add some differentiation to your device. And that’s one of the themes that we’re seeing here at MWC from some of those players,” says analyst Ben Wood.

Mobile World Congress opened on February 26 and ran until February 29.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Barcelona is the place to be if you want to see mobile phones of the future. Is your country a place to be as well if you want to see new technological advancements? What makes you say so? Discuss.
  • Do you think smaller brands can stand out at a tech show? Why or why not? In your opinion, how important is it for them to stand out in a tech show? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Around 40 percent of sales of mobile phones are shared between Apple and Samsung. How do you think the market leadership of Apple and Samsung in the mobile phone market affects innovation and customer choice? Do you think Apple and Samsung’s market leadership is beneficial or harmful to the growth and development of the industry? Why? Discuss.
  • When buying a mobile phone or any item, do you usually buy it because it’s a top brand in the market? Why or why not? Discuss.