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Mobile World Congress 2021: Samsung skips in-person events citing ‘health and safety’ concerns
The Mobile World Congress (MWC) is one of the annual trade shows that tech fans look forward to because it is where the biggest smartphone announcements usually happen. However, Samsung confirmed it is joining the growing list of companies that will skip the event’s in-person activities in consideration of the ongoing pandemic.
Samsung will not attend MWC 2021 in Barcelona
The South Korean tech giant confirmed it will not hold presentations at the Barcelona venue of MWC in later June. In an official statement to Reuters, Samsung said, “The health and safety of our employees, partners and customers is our number one priority, so we have made the decision to withdraw from exhibiting in-person at this year’s Mobile World Congress.”
Like almost every other major event in 2020, organizer GSMA had to cancel MWC last year amid the COVID-19 crisis. While the pandemic is still happening today, GSMA Limited CEO John Hoffman previously announced their plan to bring back the trade show with in-person attendance in Barcelona. The annual event had been able to amass up to 110,000 people in previous years, but Hoffman told Mobile World Live in February they are only expecting to see 40,000 to 50,000 attendees this year.
Will Samsung hold its own event to make up for missing MWC 2021?
It does not look like Samsung will be entirely absent from the next MWC Barcelona. The company told Tech Crunch it is still going to join the trade show “virtually,” so the smartphone maker could offer livestream presentations in conjunction with the flagship MWC from June 28 to July 1.
This approach is starting to look like a trend among tech companies that have decided to skip the in-person events of MWC Barcelona. Lenovo also confirmed this week that it will not hold in-person presentations, but the company has put up an official MWC Barcelona 2021 page on its website. In previous months, Nokia, Sony, Ericsson, Oracle, Cisco, and Google were among the top tech companies that begged off of attending MWC Barcelona.
Samsung is expected to have another Galaxy Unpacked event, but it may be different from what it is planning to do alongside MWC Barcelona. The next Unpacked is widely rumored to take place in August, and it could be where Samsung will announce three new smartphones, including the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3, and Galaxy S21 FE.