Another big name in mobile has confirmed that it will not be exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Chip giant Qualcomm joins a list that already includes Google, IBM, Nokia, Sony, Oracle, Ericsson and, more recently, Samsung and Lenovo.
In a statement offered to TechCrunch, a company spokesperson confirmed that it would be a similar approach to many others, choosing to “participate” virtually.
“While we appreciate the health and safety measures the GSMA has put in place for MWC Barcelona, we have decided that it is in the best interests of our employees and customers that Qualcomm’s participation be virtual this year. The company said. “We look forward to engaging with the ecosystem through Cristiano Amon’s virtual keynote on June 28 and through our latest 5G announcements and demos.”
There are nuances in the run-up to last year’s event, which also revealed companies were pulling out one by one. In the end, the show’s governing body, the GSMA, pulled the plug. Of course, things are different in 2021. After almost a year and a half, there are fewer unknowns and the rollout of vaccination has started in much of the world.
But there are still plenty of reasons people and businesses take a cautious approach when it comes to flying around the world and attending an event in a potentially crowded venue. In the end, it’s probably not worth the perceived risk or staff discomfort.
For these reasons and more, it’s hard to blame companies like Qualcomm. Based on what we know, it seems unlikely the organization will fully pull the plug at this late stage, but things seem increasingly dependent on the virtual aspect of the show’s hybrid approach. It also seems possible that face-to-face trading will be forever changed after the events of the past two years.