MWC 2013 Day 4 – Missing Persons


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At this year’s show, what was missing is actually much more interesting.

  • It was all downhill from Monday, with very little news being announced but plenty of activity on the floor.
  • Against that backdrop it is probably more valuable to look at what was missing rather than bemoan the lack of news flow.
  • First and top of the list has to be bendable screens.
  • We have been waiting for these for over a year and still there is no sign of them.
  • Some prototypes were shown at CES, but a quick ramble through You-Tube will show you that those same prototypes have actually been on display for more than two years.
  • I think that the problem is encapsulation. The OLED substrate is very sensitive to degradation by oxygen meaning that the panel has to be perfectly sealed from the air.
  • This has proved to be much more difficult to do in flexible plastic than rigid glass and I suspect that the yields are still so low that Samsung can not yet put it in a product.
  • This is Samsung’s silver bullet against the ravages on commoditisation in Android but fortunately Samsung does not need it to work right away.
  • This could be another story in another 12 months.
  • Second, there was no big announcement from operators with yet another initiative to resist the ravages of becoming bit pipes.
  • This is actually good news as operator initiatives always seem to fail.
  • Perpetual failure is for two reasons:
    • They can never really agree on anything despite their interests being aligned.
    • Mobile operators have no real clue how to create any kind of service other than voice that will delight users.
  • There were some halfhearted noises and a booth from Joyn (RCS) but I suspect that these will fade away as users fail to rush in and make use of the service.
  • Third, there was no Windows 8 tablet from Nokia.
  • Again this is actually good news.
  • Windows 8 has not had the impact hoped for on the PC and Ultrabook market and yet another tablet would have only added extra cost to Nokia’s P&L that it frankly does not need.
  • I think it has its hands full, getting the Lumia 520 into volume, which, to me, is far more important.


  • Finally, RFM’s star of the show goes to Nujira.
  • Nujira offers a chipset and technique to perform envelope tracking.
  • Envelope tracking is a technique used to help the handset transmit a clean and efficient signal resulting in better performance and improvements in battery life.
  • I have known Nujira since it was camped out in a portacabin in Cambridge and for all of this time it has been adamant that envelope tracking was the future.
  • This year, it has been proved right with all of the big names in wireless semiconductors announcing products and blazing it all over their booths.
  • I cant help but think that as a pioneer of this technique, that Nujira will be a central player as envelope tracking continues to gain importance in building handset radio systems.