Smartphone rivals Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have unveiled their latest flagship devices, seeking to revive sales momentum. As Ivor Bennett reports slowing growth is a key worry at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
If it were a game of spot the difference, it probably wouldn't last very long. 3 different devices, from 3 different manufacturers, that all look very much alike. Ben Wood from CCS Insight. SOUNDBITE (English) BEN WOOD, CHIEF OF RESEARCH, CCS INSIGHT, SAYING: "The challenge facing the industry right now is that we're in this kind of smartphone sea of sameness. How do you differentiate a rectangular block with a touchscreen, a battery and a camera? And what we've seen at Mobile World Congress is some of the manufacturers addressing that with some of the launches they've delivered." For Sony, it is all about the camera. Unveiling the new Xperia X that can go from pocket to picture less than 0.6 seconds. But it seems even they know it may not be enough. Backing it up with a series of wireless accessories like the Xperia eye, ear and projector. Global Marketing manager Diana Hernandez. SOUNDBITE (English) DIANA HERNANDEZ, GLOBAL MARKETING MANAGER, SONY MOBILE, SAYING: "It is an interesting moment in terms of where the business is going. In terms of the smartphone market as such. So everyone is having a different challenge." Some are predicting growth in the smartphone market to slide to 8 percent this year. A reason why many manufacturers are pushing other platforms instead. SOUNDBITE (English) IVOR BENNETT, REUTERS REPORTER, SAYING: "For every one of its new S7 phones that's preordered, Samsung has said it'll give away one of these headsets for free. It's the Samsung Gear VR , which the company hopes will be the carrot on the stick for its new devices." CCS Insight predicts 13 million VR headsets like the Gear will be sold by the end of the year With nearly 100 million forecast in 2020, it may not be such a bad bet.