Mobile World Congress 2020 Canceled Due to Coronavirus

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Mobile World Congress, a major smartphone trade show event held each year in Barcelona, Spain, has been canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Mobile World Congress event in Spain is a huge trade show that's important to the tech world because it's where many device manufacturers announce new smartphones and other hardware. Apple doesn't participate, but many other major brands make announcements at MWC.


Starting in early February, multiple vendors began pulling out of the event, citing concerns about the coronavirus and the potential for spreading it at such a large event. Intel, LG, Nokia, Vodafone, ZTE, Nvidia, Sony, Amazon, Cisco, Ericsson and other notable companies canceled press conferences and attendance plans.

Given the number of companies refusing to go to MWC, the GSM Association responsible for organizing the event today confirmed to Bloomberg that it's canceled. GSMA CEO John Hoffman said that the virus outbreak has made it "impossible" to hold the event.

The GSMA initially attempted to continue on with MWC, implementing disinfection measures, banning attendees from certain areas in China, and more, but too many companies exited the event. Canceling MWC is similar to canceling CES, as it is a huge deal for new product launches and partnerships.

The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has infected more than 42,000 people and more than 1,000 people have died, primarily in China.

Article Link: Mobile World Congress 2020 Canceled Due to Coronavirus
 

Mr. Dee

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Dec 4, 2003
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If this gets worse, I think Apple will do the same for its own events or at least limit attendance at WWDC to only those in North America. I think in the case of the new iPhone a broadcast event from Apple Park with Apple employees and select few journalists and YouTubers should be enough.
 
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brinary001

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If this gets worse, I think Apple will do the same for its own events or at least limit attendance at WWDC to only those in North America. I think in the case of the new iPhone a broadcast event from Apple Park with Apple employees and select few journalists and YouTubers should be enough.
You raise an interesting point. Man how weird would it be to watch Apple's March event with barely anyone in attendance 😱

Hard to even imagine it really
 
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Andropov

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May 3, 2012
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If this gets worse, I think Apple will do the same for its own events or at least limit attendance at WWDC to only those in North America. I think in the case of the new iPhone a broadcast event from Apple Park with Apple employees and select few journalists and YouTubers should be enough.
It's highly unlikely that the outbreak lasts that long.
 

mattopotamus

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Jun 12, 2012
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Understandable, but wow. That is a big deal for the mobile space. Like the article says, it is like cancelling CES.
This is actually way bigger than CES. Lots of companies forgo CES and do their own events, pretty much everyone goes to the WMC.
 

Ursadorable

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Jul 9, 2013
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"a huge trade show that's important to the tech world because it's where many device manufacturers announce new smartphones and other hardware. "

So why don't they just roll this into CES? Do we really need a whole separate show for phones?
 

brinary001

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Sep 4, 2012
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It may surprise you, but North America actually has enough people to fill Apple’s auditorium :cool:
It's not just about the number of people confirmed to be infected, it's those who don't know they have it yet that are the biggest threat to large gatherings of people. Simply banning Chinese people from attending the event wouldn't be enough, as it's already made it to North America and it only takes one person infected to launch a pandemic.
 

cmaier

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Jul 25, 2007
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"a huge trade show that's important to the tech world because it's where many device manufacturers announce new smartphones and other hardware. "

So why don't they just roll this into CES? Do we really need a whole separate show for phones?
Because different trade organizations throw their own conferences.

Though I tried to combine my daughter’s birthday party with some stranger’s down the street based on the same logic, and now I’m not very popular in my neighborhood.
 

cmaier

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It's not just about the number of people confirmed to be infected, it's those who don't know they have it yet that are the biggest threat to large gatherings of people. Simply banning Chinese people from attending the event wouldn't be enough, as it's already made it to North America and it only takes one person infected to launch a pandemic.
I know that, but in North America people are congregating freely because the risk is very low. In fact, no new cases in a week or so, no? Nobody is cancelling gatherings here, and the suggestion I was replying to was “just allow people already in North America to attend” to which the response was “gosh, it will be empty” as if there aren’t enough people in North America to attend.
 

Amazing Iceman

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This outbreak is not under control as we may be lead to believe.
Eventually it may get to the point where not public events could be held, regardless of where the attendees are coming from. It takes just one attendee who was in contact with an infected person to spread it to many others, and exponentially propagate the virus.
Better safe than sorry.

EDIT: I just noticed a similar comment posted earlier by brinary001: #17
 

brinary001

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I know that, but in North America people are congregating freely because the risk is very low. In fact, no new cases in a week or so, no? Nobody is cancelling gatherings here, and the suggestion I was replying to was “just allow people already in North America to attend” to which the response was “gosh, it will be empty” as if there aren’t enough people in North America to attend.
This has all been hypothetical anyway, as I doubt (and certainly hope) the outbreak doesn't worsen any more than it has.
 

AustinIllini

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Oct 20, 2011
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It's not just about the number of people confirmed to be infected, it's those who don't know they have it yet that are the biggest threat to large gatherings of people. Simply banning Chinese people from attending the event wouldn't be enough, as it's already made it to North America and it only takes one person infected to launch a pandemic.
So far, there isn't any evidence of asymptomatic transmission, so that's good.