This year’s Mobile World Congress, one of the most highly anticipated events for innovation and new product announcements in the mobile industry, just ended a little over a week ago in Barcelona. As expected, there were many exciting device launches sporting enormous, high resolution displays, ultra fast web browsing speeds and improved battery life. Here are a few of the biggest device announcements of MWC2013:

HTC One

This stunning device flaunts a unibody aluminum shell giving it a premium hardware feel that will be a strong competitor to the iPhone. The HTC One was actually announced a week before MWC2013 and was the only smartphone that was being demoed by HTC at the conference.

BlackBerry Q10

There has been plenty of buzz in the mobile industry lately about BlackBerry’s supposed comeback with its new BB10 operating system. The device has the necessary upgrades to the processor, battery and display, but has the same QWERTY keyboard and other classic BlackBerry features that will keep diehard fans happy.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z

This tablet is completely waterproof for up to three feet for 30 minutes (it still works underwater!), and weighs only 1.1 pounds, making it the thinnest and lightest tablet yet. The brilliant 1080p display and 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor round out this must-have Android tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Another tablet with an identity problem, the Galaxy Note 8 has a unique eight-inch form factor but is still voice enabled on international versions. I guess we should call it a phablet?

For a full list of device announcements from Mobile World Congress 2013, visit the website here.

Source: gigaom.com

In addition to all the hardware launches, there is one trend that sparked my interest and deserves a little extra attention. Ford announced that they will be teaming up with Spotify, the streaming music service, to stream their service directly to their dashboards (only on one car so far). The auto industry has been integrating more and more sophisticated technology into their newer models, but one major component that is beginning to evolve this year is the relationship between mobile and the car.

Last year during Apple’s WWDC they touched upon some upcoming integration between iOS 6 and potential Siri buttons in cars. Recently Apple’s job postings revealed that something of this nature is in the works, as a Quality Assurance position for iOS Car Services and a few other positions were posted and quickly filled. Based on this development, one has to assume that Google also has something of this nature up their sleeve, especially since they have been in the testing phases of a Google car for quite some time now.

Source: pcmag.com

Bluetooth technology has already become the status quo for mid and top of the line car models, allowing drivers to play their music and use their phone through their car stereo. As more information about Apple and Ford rolls out throughout the rest of this year, I am expecting that more mobile products and auto/tech company partnerships will be popping up for deeper integration with automobile technology. Within the next year or two, as the US smartphone penetration percentages creep closer to 100%, integrated in-car mobile technology will become a standard much like Bluetooth has.