Mobile World Congress 2013: What to ‘Watch’ Out For in Barcelona

The annual pilgrimage to Barcelona in the name of mobile technology is underway, as thousands of industry executives, tech designers, software developers, analysts, app devs, and a teeming bastions of journalists look on in wonderment at what Mobile World Congress 2013 will deliver.

According to widely-held expectations ahead of the convention’s start, this year’s expo will feature an enormous array of futuristic gadgets largely intended to get ahead of anticipated products being planned by companies like Apple.

“Scoping out the competition for Apple” is what Brian White at Topeka Capital Markets expects from a lot of attendees.

The iPhone maker never attends MWC, or the Consumer Electronics Show, but its presence will be felt with gadget companies gunning to compete against its products this year, as well as those from Samsung, White tells Forbes. “Along with new smartphones and tablets, expect a few companies to announce internet-enabled watches, to compete with the rumored iWatch that Apple is widely-reported to be working on.”

That’s right, says White. Before Apple can dazzle the world with the launch of its rumored but still eagerly anticipated iWatch, there will likely be a large number of smart watches tick-tocking their way into the headlines out of Barcelona this week.

Even with Apple not there, White says he’s not expecting any major announcements from their biggest tech rival Samsung.

“Don’t expect any big announcements from Samsung, since it is widely expected to unveil its Galaxy S 4 smartphone in mid-March — which will leave the South Korean company to focus on its Galaxy Note portfolio at the show,” Parmy Olson of Forbes summarizes. “Apple will say nothing, preferring to unveil its next-generation iPhone in June and its cheaper iPhone some time this year, possibly also in June.”