Another big name for mobile has confirmed that it will not be on display at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Chip giant Qualcomm is joining the list, which already includes Google, IBM, Nokia, Sony, Oracle, Ericsson and, more recently, Samsung and Lenovo. In a statement to TechCrunch, a spokesman for the company confirmed that it would take the same approach as many others, preferring to “actually be present”. The company said, “While we appreciate the health and safety measures adopted by GSMA for MWC Barcelona, we have decided that it would be best for our employees and customers to participate in Qualcomm’s virtualization this year.”
“We look forward to joining Cristiano Amon’s virtual keynote on June 28th and our latest announcement and the 5G demonstration to connect with the ecosystem.” There are leads films from last year’s event, which have similarly seen companies come out one by one. Eventually the show’s board of directors, GSMA, pulled the plug. Of course, in 2021 things are different.
About a year and a half later, the unknown remains low and a vaccination process has begun in most parts of the world. There are still many reasons for people and companies to take a cautious approach when it comes to flying around the world and attending an event in a potentially packed room. In the end, it’s probably not worth the undue risk or inconvenience to employees. For these reasons and more, it is hard to blame companies like Qualcomm.
Given what we know, given that it seems unlikely that the company will pull this plug perfectly in the final stages, things seem increasingly dependent on the virtual side of the show’s hybrid approach. It also seems likely that individual trade will change forever after the events of the last two years. But there are still plenty of reasons for people and organizations to be cautious about flying around the world and perhaps attending an event in a packed room. In the end, it’s not worth the perceived risk or inconvenience to employees.
It’s hard to blame companies like Qualcomm for this and many more. Given what we know, it doesn’t look like the company as a whole will pull the plug at this late stage, but things depend on the virtual side of the show’s hybrid approach. It is also possible that personal-trade will change forever after the events of the last two years.