The time is fast approaching where the entire mobile industry gets together to thrash out the year ahead, and also the future beyond that. 2017 will mark Ausdroid’s third year attending the Mobile World Congress, and we’re expecting rather a lot. We’re planning a lot ourselves for MWC 2017, and so it’s time to look at what our plans are, what everyone else is doing, and some early predictions on what we expect to see.

MWC of Years Past

In 2015, we sent Dan to MWC for our first attendance, as guest of HTC. We got the lowdown on the launch of the HTC One M9, some other HTC gear, and some hands-on time with what would be the hit devices of the year, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Of course, Dan saw a lot more than this, including news from vendors unheard of in Australia, tablets that would eventually come, and meeting some industry experts.

Buoyed by this, Ausdroid pitched early for 2016, and we managed to take two people: Rachel joined me for MWC as our photographer, attending a couple of launch events herself where scheduling conflicts meant we simply couldn’t attend them all.

We attended press day briefings from Samsung, LG, Huawei and ZTE, and countless other briefings and meetings at booths and elsewhere around the Fira Barcelona venue. While we had a day and a bit of sightseeing beforehand, from Sunday morning until Wednesday morning, we basically didn’t stop. MWC is a full on event, set in a huge venue, and by the end of each day (after starting about 7.30am and leaving at almost 6pm) we were absolutely exhausted (not to mention overwhelmed).

What we’ve learned is that one person trying to cover everything isn’t enough, and frankly, neither is two. So, in 2017, we’re trying something else.

MWC 2017 for Ausdroid

For 2017, we’re going with a different strategy completely. In the years gone by, we’ve been hosted at MWC by two major brands (HTC in 2015, and Huawei in 2016), and while we are immensely grateful for their support to make it happen, this approach doesn’t necessarily mean the best outcome for us.

When you travel with a brand to an event like this, there is a (not unreasonable) expectation that you give priority to everything the host brand does — this doesn’t just mean their press conferences and product announcements, it means their extra-curricular activities as well.

Yes, MWC is a lot of fun, but we are there to work, so come February, we’re going it alone.

That’s right. We’re going to be taking ourselves to MWC. Duncan and I have already booked our flights, and I’ve booked us a place to stay for the week. We’re hoping that Jason can join us, so we’ll have three experienced Ausdroid writers on the ground, able to split up and cover even more than we have in years past, supported by our capable team back home watching live streams and writing up what we can’t get to.

We’re asking brands if they’d like to contribute towards the cost, rather than covering the whole thing, and we’ve also been saving our Patreon supporters’ funds throughout the year, which will go towards covering some of the cost too.

MWC 2017 for you

We have big plans for our coverage for MWC this time around, and we’re hoping to provide much more insightful, entertaining and engaging content.

Coverage of main announcements

Of course, the main features you expect we will deliver — we’ll have someone (and possibly two someones) at every major press conference, and most of the less major ones. Major product announcements from Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, Lenovo, Asus, OPPO, Alcatel, ZTE … the list goes on, and if they have conferences, we’ll be at them taking notes and reporting on the plans for products to come to Australia.

We’ll have reports from the events themselves, hands-on videos and thoughts for each major announcement. We’ll do our best to publish these as soon after the events as possible.

Nightly podcasts for your enjoyment

Each night after MWC, Duncan and I (and Jason if he comes) will record a podcast episode, and it’ll be ready for you to download each morning to listen to on the way to work or while you enjoy your morning coffee back here in Australia.

At this stage, we’re anticipating four main episodes to be recorded while we’re there, including:

  • A wrap of all the rumours before things kick off, on the Press Day eve
  • A look at all the major announcements on Press Day, including the likes of Samsung, LG, Huawei, HTC, and more
  • A wrap of what we’ve seen on day 1 and day 2 of the conference.

If the time and location permit, these will be video podcasts (with audio-only available), but at the very least, we’ll be recording a nightly radio show to go over the day’s events. We’ll even try to dig up some special guests.

Our goal will be to provide the best MWC 2017 experience we can for those of you watching from back home, ensuring that those of you who are as excited about mobile as we are can eat, sleep and breathe the conference like we’ll be doing.

How we’re making it happen?

We couldn’t do this without the support of our Patreon supporters. While our goal of making Ausdroid ad-free was perhaps naive, we are doing concrete things with the financial support of our backers; we’re getting the equipment we need to do something of this scale, and our Patreon supporters have paid for our accommodation to cover MWC 2017.

We’re asking major brands to help chip-in to cover our airfares (as they’re the most expensive part), and if you’re reading this from a major brand, you should get in touch and get your name on our sponsors list.

If you’re reading this and enjoy Ausdroid’s content, there’s never been a better time to become a Patreon supporter — check out our Patreon page and look at the goals we’re setting for 2017.

Most importantly, we need feedback from you guys, our Ausdroidians. Tell us the things you’d like us to cover, investigate and explore, and the things you can do without. You know where the comments box is, let us know your thoughts.

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    Darren Ferguson

    Hoping to see a report on the hunt for Mr Mime 😉