MWC 2011: Rumours coming thick and fast

Jonathan Morris
January 28, 2011

Leaking information ahead of a big announcement always makes us wonder how many are really leaks, as against meticulously arrange feeds to blogs, forums and Twitter in order to generate hype.

The problem is, leaks are now so common and expected that long before Mobile World Congress opens its doors, we’ll pretty much all know what’s going to be unveiled.

We’ve begun to gather information on what’s rumoured so far, but when the event does finally kick off we will be out and about to get those all important hands-on videos and previews – and find out how accurate these leaks really were.


Samsung will announce its new products before MWC begins, at an event that clashed head-on with Sony Ericsson.

Android Central has already found out that the two biggies will be the Samsung Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Tab 2.

Expect a dual-core processor on the Galaxy S2 at least, and probably both, with Honeycomb (aka Android 3) almost certainly making an appearance on the follow-up tablet. With the Samsung built Google Nexus S sporting an NFC reader, there’s probably going to be NFC in either or both too.


With new CEO Stephen Elop talking about the previously unimaginable (but extremely logical and sensible) view that Nokia could potentially adopt another operating system, such as Windows Phone or Android, could Nokia do more than just unveil some new devices? What an announcement that would be.

Failing that, Nokia will launch what will be the first MeeGo OS device. With news that the N9 might have been axed for becoming too dated against the competition, Nokia is probably going to unveil a larger tablet instead.

It’s unclear if Nokia will supplement this with a load of new handsets, or simply try and put more emphasis on developing apps for the Qt platform that makes it easy for app developers to code for Symbian and MeeGo, or possibly another platform…

While it is easy to allow imaginations to run riot, What Mobile would  put Nokia down as a serious threat to its rivals if it swallowed its pride and start producing Android smartphones.

An Android-based N8 successor would have us battling to get our order in with millions of other Nokia fans who have reluctantly moved on after giving up on Symbian for good.


Motorola won’t be holding any press conference at MWC this year, which was a bit of a surprise to us – but it will give us another chance to see the XOOM and ATRIX in action – with Google hopefully having allowed Motorola to show off a version of Honeycomb that is almost ready for release.


Apple doesn’t use big events to launch new products, it creates its own so it can do things on its own terms. Therefore, Apple isn’t at MWC at all.

The next (and pretty obvious) release is the new iPad 2 – and that announcement is likely to be made in advance, giving Apple the longest amount of time to get those column inches before MWC starts.

Later in the year, Apple will also introduce the iPhone 5, but besides a redesigned casing to fix the Antennagate problem being a dead certainty, we’ll save all of the fun and games about second guessing Apple for a few more months.

Meanwhile, there are all sorts of rumours flying around about what the iPad 2 will do better, which always means running the risk of creating a specification that is way beyond what Apple actually releases, but the iPad 2 should be getting NFC and a higher resolution screen – plus the pretty obvious addition of a camera for Facetime.

Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson is now backing Android almost exclusively, so MWC will be about a number of new handsets powered by the very latest version of Android, along with the promise of speedy updates in the future.

Good news, given how long X10 owners had to wait for an update to 2.1 (followed by the bad news that this will be the end of the updates).

We’ve already seen the Xperia arc, and everyone knows about the PlayStation phone, which has now been obtained and previewed by Engadget. Our spies tell us that Xperia Play will not be its final name, but does it really matter what it will be called?

Then there are some likely updates to the incredibly successful and highly rated X10 mini products, with better screens and the latest version of the OS.

Sony Ericsson is also working on a tablet, and has shown interest in Windows Phone. Whether we can expect to see that many devices shown in one go remains to be seen, but we’ve heard a rumour that Sony Ericsson will launch four devices on February 13th – which includes the arc and the ‘PSP phone’. So, what will the other two be?


HTC seems to have been concentrating on producing variations of an existing theme of late, with the Desire HD and HD7 being a progression of the HD2. In America, the phone has spawned ‘4G’ versions, which is far away from becoming available in the UK. If we had to place a bet, it would be of upgraded versions of the Desire HD and Desire Z, with dual-core processors, more memory and (in the case of the Desire HD), hopefully a bigger battery.

So what does HTC have up its sleeve? Well, TechRadar reported on HTC introducing a 3D screen, while other rumours talk of a new phone that can run Facebook applications  – although this may be announced on the morning of January 31st so we won’t have to wait until MWC to find out.

And, of course, HTC has a tablet. But then again, who doesn’t?


LG sort of showed off its new tablet at CES, and What Mobile was told that development was continuing in conjunction with Google. Now, Google has already picked Motorola to showcase Honeycomb with the XOOM, so that leaves us wondering what the LG tablet will bring to the table that’s even more special.

In addition to that, LG recently announced it has developed a 3D screen – so with five models likely to be announced, there could be something other than a new dual-core smartphone (they’ve already announced the Optimus 2X), the Optimus BLACK and its new tablet to catch the world’s attention.

HP Palm

With so many tablets coming out, a choice of operating system does at least give some other ways to differentiate beyond screen size. HP hasn’t managed to keep its new tablet, based on it’s acquired WebOS from Palm, secret – but if HP wants to stand any chance of getting the world talking about WebOS then it will have to continue to leak as much as possible.

You can find out more about the HP Topaz tablet, courtesy of The Register.

Update: HP Palm will be making a big announcement on February 9th.

  • We will be adding to this page in the coming days to add more rumours.
  • You can also visit our forum to talk about these new devices.
  • Mobile World Congress takes place from February 14th to 17th 2011, and What Mobile will be there to report on all of the new devices.

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