MWC 2020 canceled: Tech firms weigh options

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Mobile World Congress 2020, the world’s largest mobile exhibition, was canceled by GSMA yesterday. Even as the organizers have decided to cancel the MWC 2020 in Barcelona in view of safety concerns due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, many technology firms are still weighing options about how to make the announcements that they planned to make at the event. Since, traditionally, many of the announcements at MWC Barcelona take place even before the main exhibition starts, some companies may still be going ahead with their announcements as scheduled.

“Since Honor’s event was separate from MWC, please note that as of now our event is on as per the scheduled timeline,” an Honor spokesperson told IANS. However, many other companies have chalked out alternative plans. After announcing that it would not participate at MWC 2020 – even before the event was cancelled – Vivo said that it would withdraw from other related events later this month in Barcelona.

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“We will soon introduce the APEX 2020 concept phone which we had originally planned to showcase at MWC,” Vivo said, without explaining where and when it would make the announcements.

Realme said that it was planning to unveil its first 5G flagship smartphone realme X50 Pro 5G, at the MWC 2020. “Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, realme has been concerned about the effects and working on alternatives of all possible situations, including having planned our event undertaken by our European team based in Spain without any staff from China,” the company said.

“Keeping in light with the impact of the virus and the cancellation of MWC 2020, Realme has decided to cancel the participation at MWC Barcelona 2020, accordingly. Our first 5G flagship smartphone realme X50 Pro 5G, originally planned to debut at the MWC, is going to be launched online globally in Madrid on February 24,” the company added.

Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth will join the launch event and reveal its future AioT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) plans, according to the company.

After withdrawing its participation from MWC 2020, Swedish telecommunication giant Ericsson said that it will take the demos and content created for MWC Barcelona to customers in their home markets with local events called “Ericsson Unboxed”. In a statement, the GSM Association (GSMA), said it had 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.”

The novel coronavirus that originated in the Wuhan area of China in December 2019 has spread to over 25 countries, raising safety concerns and impacting businesses in many parts of the world.

(Written with IANS inputs)

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