In a move that makes a lot of sense considering most of the big attendees have already withdrawn their show plans, Mobile World Congress 2020 has been cancelled according to an emailed statement provided by GSMA, the organisation running MWC Barcelona 2020.
Given the growing concern for the widely spreading coronavirus, it seems that GSMA has come around to the same decision as Amazon, Nvidia, Nokia and a host of other companies that had previously announced the cancellation of their MWC plans: That the annual consumer tech conference will no longer take place this year.
In an emailed statement, John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA confirmed that the event had been cancelled as the coronavirus had made holding MWC “impossible”.
“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”, said Hoffman in an email to Bloomberg. This will be the first time in 33 years that MWC has been cancelled.
The cancellation comes just days after MWC clarified that they would be implementing more stringent sanitary regulations, including a ban on handshakes and prohibiting the attendance of people from certain regions in China. What this means is that the next generation of smartphones will be revealed individually by their respective companies. Sony has already confirmed they would be unveiling their newest phones on YouTube and LG will host their own events for future products.
Although a sad day for the tech industry, the cancellation of one of the world’s biggest trade shows comes at a time where many brands have started opting for Livestream reveals and announcements. Better safe than sorry, we guess.