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The launch of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone generated most of the column inches at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 at the end of February, but it was the Apple faithful who descended on Barcelona en masse for the annual mobile industry shindig, according to a report published by device and network monitoring specialist Tutela.
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Tutela’s software is used by mobile network operators (MNOs), device makers and app developers to gain insight into usage patterns and performance, and as a result it can be found working in the background on over 250 million devices worldwide.
During the course of MWC, Tutela collected anonymised data from 23,000 mobile devices operating either Android or iOS, representing approximately 20% of total attendees, and found that despite Apple’s lack of official presence at the show, and the dominance of Android suppliers, the majority of devices it detected were iPhones.
The recently released iPhone X was the most popular device in use at MWC – understandably, given the presence of so many mobile industry insiders and fans likely to upgrade at the drop of a hat – accounting for 11% of all smartphones detected.
The iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 7 Plus accounted for 10%, 7% and 6% of devices respectively, and the iPhone 8 3%. Meanwhile, the most popular Android device was the Samsung Galaxy S8, which was carried by 5% of visitors detected. The 2016 generation of Samsung Galaxy devices, the S7, was carried by 3% of people.
Among the other major suppliers, Huawei devices accounted for 7% of users, LG for 2%, and Sony for 2%, with other device manufacturers making up 11% of units in use.
However, there was a shock in store for Tutela’s network watchers. “To our surprise,” wrote the report’s authors, “our software had already been installed on 24 of the brand new Samsung Galaxy S9 phones at MWC.”
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Based on device languages and home networks, Tutela was also able to reveal that most visitors to MWC came from the US, followed by the UK, Spain and South Korea, with the top five home service providers revealed to be AT&T, Vodafone Spain, Movistar Spain, Vodafone UK and Orange Spain, with EE and Korea’s SKTelecom also featuring in the top 10.
The report also delivered insight into network usage and performance at MWC, and found that Movistar and Vodafone were the best performers at the giant Fira venue, with average download speeds clocked at 21.87Mbps on Movistar and 21.56Mbps on Vodafone, based on 40,938 download speed tests conducted in the area between Monday 26 February and Thursday 1 March 2018.
A heatmap of devices showed that Hall Three at the Fira was the most crowded part of the venue, thanks to the location there of stands belonging to major device suppliers such as Huawei, LG, Nokia, Samsung and Sony; operators such as Deutsche Telekom, NTT, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone; and ICT industry giants such as Cisco, Dell/VMware, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel, Qualcomm and ZTE.
Other hotspots included the main entrance areas near the metro station, the connecting walkways within the Fira, and Halls Five and Six, particularly around the stand taken by German auto giant Daimler, where several concept cars and connected Mercedes vehicles were on display.