Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen a number of companies pull out of appearances at Mobile World Congress due to Coronavirus concerns. The organising company, GSMA, previously announced safety measures that were being put in place for this year’s event in an effort to alleviate those concerns but major companies were still having cold feet. Now, the world’s biggest smartphone trade show is being cancelled.
Originally scheduled to kick off on February 24th, MWC would have seen smartphone and smart home device makers from around the world congregate in Barcelona to show off and announce new products for 2020. This year was tipped to be particularly big, as many smartphone makers will be making a push for 5G connectivity.
The cancellation was announced last night, with the GSMA releasing the following statement: “With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event.”
“The GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions.”
In recent weeks, we’ve seen the likes of Amazon, LG, Intel, Nvidia, Sony, HMD, Vodafone, BT and more all pull out of the event. Others like Samsung, Huawei and Motorola were reportedly still due to attend. The GSMA still plans to run MWC again in February 2021.
KitGuru Says: MWC is always an exciting time in the smartphone space, so it is a shame to see it cancelled. Still, when there is a global health concern making its way around, cancelling events does seem to be in everyone’s best interests. Currently, GDC is still due to take place in March and we have not heard anything about Computex being moved, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens with the other major events.