We're in Barcelona! And I'm struggling to stay awake. It's 3PM here in one of my favorite places to visit (I've been doing it five years now, after all), and I am jet lagged to an extent I've scarcely ever experienced. But 2016 is shaping up to be one of the busiest MWCs ever in terms of smartphone news, and we're just getting started. Over the next couple of days, you'll see big announcements from the likes of LG, Samsung, Alcatel, possibly Sony, maybe a few things from HTC, and likely dozens of smaller companies looking to get their share of the limelight. This may well be the busiest MWC I've ever attended.
What's on our schedule? In the immediate future, we've got a press conference with Alcatel this evening before diving into LG and Samsung's respective press conferences tomorrow (Sunday), and that's all before the show even technically starts. Come Monday, Sony's press conference opens up the show early that day, and it's entirely possible they'll pull a new Z-phone out of their hats that nobody saw coming - though it could also be something substantially less exciting. While HTC isn't expected to launch their new M10 flagship at the show, recent leaks from @evleaks suggest some Desire budget faire could be on the way - we'll be on the lookout for it.
At this point, it's a foregone conclusion that Samsung will be launching two new phones at MWC, the S7 and the larger, curved S7 edge. Details on what new features we can expect remain scarce, though, aside from rumblings about 3D touch and a return of the beloved microSD slot. A new version of GearVR seems probable - we're meeting with Oculus to possibly discuss just that on Monday. LG is, of course, openly teasing the launch of the G5 at the show, a phone which has retained an air of mystery and intrigue with its supposed modular accessory slot and VR accessory. We'll know soon enough just what LG's been working on.
Alcatel had a couple of leaks of the company's upcoming Idol 4 and 4S phones recently, and those seem all but certain to launch here at MWC given that we'll be heading to a press conference in a matter of hours.
Also on our schedule are meetings with Qualcomm, Lenovorola (Lenovo + Moto), MediaTek, Oculus, Intel, Adobe, Xiaomi, and BlackBerry, so who knows what new tidbits we may end up with when all's said and done. Our coverage starts now and will continue in earnest until Wednesday, so get ready.
And, as a special shout-out, we'd like to mention that this year's AP coverage of MWC is sponsored by Alcatel. We wouldn't be able to bring you our on-the-ground coverage without them, so be sure to check out their announcements during the show. We also want to tell you we will in no way let this interfere with our coverage of Alcatel or anyone else at the show - we take editorial independence deadly serious here, and wouldn't partner with a company if we felt it would negatively affect the quality or honesty of our work.
With that all said, let's get this party started. And by party, I mean nap. I could really use one.