MWC ended up confirming the main trend of the year. 2022 is placed under the computer sign. On a smartphone account?
We felt the trend was coming for several months and MWC 2022 came to confirm it more than ever. Having become mature, the smartphone has lost interest in the face of the laptop that marks its comeback. Between fierce competition and global necessity, the laptop begins a new life.
After the smartphone becomes mature, it loses interest
Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, the smartphone has become the nerve center of the entire high-tech sector. Every year, brands have been vying for intelligence to create new concepts, new functionality, and dramatically improve the formula. Thanks to the smartphone, the ARM engineering won the noble letters. With a smartphone, everyone now has a versatile camera in their pocket. Using a smartphone, Oled found his first expression.
Arriving in 2022, it must be admitted that the smartphone has lost interest in technology. The market is now mature, a phrase that has been repeated for several years to reflect the lack of significant changes from year to year. Refurbishing your smartphone becomes less and less, even when you are interested in new things. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is an excellent example of this. This is also due to the disappearance of bad smartphones or so. Now, there are very good devices starting at 200 euros that will suit most users.
Even operating systems, with their annual release rate, no longer offer a drastic change from one iteration to another. Pending the possible popularization of foldable designs, it is difficult to imagine what could fundamentally change our relationship with the smartphone. Today’s smartphones are powerful enough to power everything, autonomous enough to last all day, charge very quickly and have perfectly calibrated screens. It is difficult to find the possibilities of major changes.
The trend may already be showing up at CES and it was confirmed at MWC: the eyes of the technology are now turning to the PC. We’re still talking about Mobile World Congress, a show historically dedicated to mobile phones, where we often spotted various leading companies and great innovations waiting for the smartphone. This year, this is still the case, we were able to spot the invisible camera of Oppo or the foldable smartphone from Xiaomi, and of course the Honor Magic 4 Pro, but it is impossible to deny the turning point that this version of the display has taken.
The most important innovations, those that will have a real impact on the market and consumers, have been in the PC market. The Mobile World Congress sticks, most of it was geared toward laptops, but we still had a presentation for Huawei’s desktop PC.
Perhaps the biggest symbol of this transformation was the announcement of the arrival of the Nokia brand to the laptop market thanks to the French company OffGlobal. So we have a history of cell phones that will market laptops. Also at MWC 2022, Samsung decided to return to Europe with the Galaxy Book 2 Pro that we were able to take on.
A trend in which Apple is involved
What is the most interesting novelty that Apple has released for two years? Undoubtedly, the beginning of its transition from its Intel x86 architecture computers to its Apple Silicon chips. Of course, the iPhone continues to receive new products every year, but this is no longer where we find the biggest generational leaps. To be convinced, just take a look at the new features of the iPhone 13 range, and compare with what the latest generation of MacBook Pro can offer.
In 2022, the company is said to be preparing seven new Macs or MacBooks. Too broad scope to convince all audiences to follow Apple in its transition to more efficient and economical chipsets. Moreover, the most anticipated novelty this year at Apple, apart from a possible VR headset, is undoubtedly the MacBook Air M2 which should benefit from an entirely new design.
Why is the computer back in fashion?
Going back a bit, the PC market was presented as being in decline at the beginning of the 2000s, during the advent of the iPad. The smartphone and tablet were introduced as the essentials that could definitively replace our computers. Apple will go so far as to promise that the iPad can replace the PC in several announcements.
Ten years later, the PC market took off without ever having to switch to a tablet, even if convertibles still existed. This can be explained in particular by the outcome of the Covid crisis. The stages of confinement have prompted many families to better equip themselves with computers that are better able to manage work at home or homework. Many brands have told us that there is now a growing market for a second computer in the home to better support what used to be. “family computer”.
The market is also driven by the video game market. This cultural sector is constantly growing, and for years, the laptop segment that has seen the biggest growth has been gaming PCs. This growth should not distort the emergence of a new generation of video games. Especially as more and more publishers are betting on the computer as a new market. Microsoft has made PC Game Pass the heart of its strategy, to the point of giving up the console catalog a bit in February, and Sony is adapting more and more PlayStation Studios games to Steam.
Fierce competition under the hood
Another trend expressed at MWC, which explains this excitement around the PC, is also under the hood. It is clear that we are talking about renewed competition in the segment of processors and graphics chips. A long time ago, Intel saw AMD come back in force, and ARM gradually grabbed the market. The same situation is for Nvidia, which will soon have to deal with Intel Arc graphics cards as well as AMD Radeon or ARM chips.
At MWC, this resulted in announcing an expanded lineup of low-power Intel 12th-generation processors and announcing hardware featuring the new Ryzen 6000s based on the AMD Zen 3+ architecture.
Competitors, but also partners. On the sidelines of the show, AMD, ARM, and Intel announced the creation of a standard around chipsets that could change the way chip is designed in the coming years. Like Samsung’s latest Exynos 2200 SoC, which includes an AMD RDNA 2 graphics component, one can imagine processors that will blend the technologies of several gamers.
After the closure of CES and MWC at the beginning of 2022, it is clear that the trend in the technology industry is in the PC market. This market, hitherto considered mature, has intensified its innovations for several months to provide us with more efficient and ambitious machines. This is also the reason why Microsoft, the heavyweight in the sector, is reinvesting in its operating system with Windows 11.
Although there are quite a few new smartphones coming out every month, the mobile market seems to be slowing down when it comes to finding innovations to bring to the general public.
But perhaps this is the lesson to be learned from the return of the computer to the hype, the smartphone may come back in a big way when paradigm shifts such as folding spread and, above all, when the world regains its mobility.
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