This year's Mobile World Congress is bound to be frenetic with phone news. That's why we're about to brave Barcelona's rain, airline strikes and pickpockets (no offense, dear BCN) in order to stay up-to-date. But if there's one aspect of mobile phones we're not counting on to provide much excitement, it's their fundamental physical design or form factor. We're in the grip of the monolith, the concrete slab, the plain rectangle, with its full touchscreen and a couple of buttons here and there, and that grip is so tight that even the pickpockets are slightly shocked when they haul in something with a physical QWERTY.
But the point of this piece isn't merely to plot the decline of form factor diversity. It's actually to argue that the current monotony is probably only temporary, and that signs of a revival are already in the air. Read on and we'll do our utmost to convince you.