Mobile World Congress (MWC) will be taking place in person this year, but it seems that more folks than just the Stuff team consider this a bad idea. Smartphone maker Sony Mobile, as well as Nokia, Ericsson, and Oracle have all confirmed that they won’t be in attendance at this year’s in-person event.
Making the best of MWC
Which might be the way to go, even if it doesn’t bode well for MWC itself. Last year saw several companies pulling out of the event before it was eventually cancelled, about six weeks before South Africa shut down completely. If there are enough cancellations, the same might be on the cards for the June/July Barcelona event this year.
But the GSMA obviously hopes to go ahead. MWC Shanghai took place in February this year and saw 17,000 attendees and zero instances of COVID-19 detected at the event. But, as Engadget points out, a large portion of those attendees didn’t have to travel internationally. If the smartphone event takes place in Barcelona, it’ll see up to 50,000 people from all over the world converge in the city. And that’s potentially disastrous.
A Sony spokesperson said, “Sony Mobile has taken the decision that it will not be participating in MWC 2021. As the world increasingly shifts towards digital and online opportunities to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Sony Mobile will communicate in ways that can deliver our exciting product news to a wider audience.” Which sounds an awful lot like a Nintendo Direct event to us.