from the making-a-major-mobile-mess dept.
Each year, the GSMA (GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) Association) holds three MWC (Mobile World Congress) events. The next is MWC Barcelona and is scheduled for 24-27 February 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. The next event scheduled for this year is MWC Shanghai 2020, scheduled for 30 June - 2 July 2020 in Shanghai, China. And rounding out 2020 is the last event, MWC Los Angeles, California on 28-30 October 2020.
Since 2011, MWC Barcelona has been known as the GSMA Mobile World Capital. It is the oldest and largest of the MWC series, so some of the largest mobile product announcements occur at this event. The 2018 event attracted attendees around the world. Approximately half of the attendees hold senior positions in their firms. In other words, in the mobile market, MWC Barcelona is a "Really Big Deal."
That was all history. The recent outbreak of the 2019-nCoV Coronovirus has made quite a stir worldwide. Major players in the mobile arena are concerned about sending their representatives to a venue with approximately 100,000 attendees drawn from all around the world.
Major companies in the mobile space have recently announced plans to either skip MWC Barcelona entirely or, in some cases, make presentations remotely. These include: including Intel, TCL, Sony, Amazon, Samsung, Nvidia, Ericsson Vivo, and MediaTek among many others.
[...] It will be "interesting" to see what the follow-on effects will be from the reduced attendance. The June MWC is scheduled for Shanghai (a major city in China - the country that is the apparent source of the 2019-nCov coronoavirus and imposing major quarantines trying to stem its spread). Thus, unless 2019-nCoV is brought under control in record time, things do not look good for those who were diverted from Barcelona to look forward to making up the difference 4 months later. That leaves waiting for MWC LA at the end of October, or making more one-on-one connections to work out buying and selling decisions.
[Editors' Note: The World Health Organisation has formally renamed the virus to COVID-19]
For those who are interested in more details on these vendors plans, here are a baker's dozen links expanding on this:
- Intel pulls out of MWC 2020 due to coronavirus fears
- TCL cancels MWC 2020 press conference on coronavirus concerns
- MWC and coronavirus: Sweeping restrictions in place as more companies pull back
- Sony withdraws from MWC 2020 over coronavirus concerns
- Coronavirus jolts tech firms as outbreak spreads: MWC bars some visitors from China
- MWC and coronavirus: Sweeping restrictions in place as more companies pull back
- Amazon pulls out of MWC 2020, citing coronavirus concerns
- Samsung pares back MWC presence on coronavirus concerns
- Nvidia drops out of MWC 2020 over coronavirus worries
- MWC now means 'Mobiles? Whatever! Coronavirus!' as Ericsson becomes latest to pass on industry shindig
- Ericsson withdraws from MWC 2020 over coronavirus fears
- Should I stay or should I go now? Mobile industry braces for an MWC overshadowed by Wuhan coronavirus misery
- MWC now stands for 'Most Won't Come': Intel, Vivo and MediaTek drop out of mobile industry kneesup over coronavirus
With Mobile World Congress 2020 officially terminado -- thanks to the coronavirus -- mobile vendors, big and small, are now scrambling to figure out their next steps. Some, particularly Chinese companies, are mulling plans to proceed with their events in Barcelona, Spain, even though the official conference won't take place.
MWC brings together companies from across the world, with many using the weeklong trade show as the place to introduce their newest smartphones. This year was expected to feature new 5Gphones from nearly every major Android vendor, as well as updates about the networks running the new superfast connectivity. While 5G became a reality last year, this year is when it could go mainstream.
MWC is key to the mobile industry for two big reasons: It's where vendors get attention for their newest devices and it's where companies hammer out deals behind the scenes. That includes getting carriers to agree to offer devices from smaller players that don't go by the name of Apple or Samsung. This year's show was officially slated to run from Feb. 24 to 27, with press meetings starting as early as Feb. 21.
On Wednesday, though, GSMA finally pulled the plug on the entire show. The show's organizer said the coronavirus, the disease infecting tens of thousands of people, had made it "impossible" for the show to proceed.
With MWC no longer taking place, that disrupts the launches -- and dealmaking -- for over 2,000 companies that planned to attend the show. For some, it could mean holding their own events or simply putting out press releases to unveil their newest gadgets. Many could delay their product launches altogether while they figure out what to do. Ultimately, we may all have to wait longer to hear about -- and buy -- the latest gadgets.
"The delayed product releases that will occur as the result of this show, as well as the supply side challenges surrounding the coronavirus' broader impact in China ... could potentially delay the smartphone industry's return to growth into 2021 if the current state of flux is not settled soon," Futuresource Consulting analyst Stephen Mears said.
Also at The Register
This story is a roundup of several virus stories that were submitted over the past few days. This is a changing story, so some of what is posted below may have changed since the time of their originally being published.
What's in a name? One significant change is what the names are for everything. There is the question of what to call the actual virus and then what to call it when someone is infected.
Virus: The virus by itself is now officially referred to as SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). It was formerly known as 2019-nCoV (2019 novel coronavirus).
Disease: Those who have been infected by this virus are said to have a disease. The name of the disease is coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which is also known as 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease.
More details are available on Wikipedia.
The six submitted stories are presented below.
NIH Official Says Coronavirus 'on the Verge' of Becoming Global Pandemic Unless Containment Improves
Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS's "Face The Nation" that multiple person-to-person transmissions need to occur in multiple countries in order to reach the pandemic threshold.
[...] "Technically speaking, the [World Health Organization] wouldn't be calling this a global pandemic. But it certainly is on the verge of that happening reasonably soon unless containment is more successful than it is right now," he said.
Even though it has only been a short while since our last round-up there are 22 separate stories merged into this round-up. Many report duplicate news but, nevertheless, we have tried to distill the important elements of each submission.
Firstly, there is some confusion regarding the actual names that are reported for the virus, the disease that it causes, and names frequently seen in media reporting. From https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-020-0695-z:
The present outbreak of a coronavirus-associated acute respiratory disease called coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is the third documented spillover of an animal coronavirus to humans in only two decades that has resulted in a major epidemic. The Coronaviridae Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, which is responsible for developing the classification of viruses and taxon nomenclature of the family Coronaviridae, has assessed the placement of the human pathogen, tentatively named 2019-nCoV, within the Coronaviridae. Based on phylogeny, taxonomy and established practice, the CSG recognizes this virus as forming a sister clade to the prototype human and bat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (SARS-CoVs) of the species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, and designates it as SARS-CoV-2.
In order to facilitate communication, the CSG proposes to use the following naming convention for individual isolates: SARS-CoV-2/host/location/isolate/date. While the full spectrum of clinical manifestations associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans remains to be determined, the independent zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 highlights the need for studying viruses at the species level to complement research focused on individual pathogenic viruses of immediate significance. This will improve our understanding of virus–host interactions in an ever-changing environment and enhance our preparedness for future outbreaks.
There is much more information at the link provided.
Secondly, as this is a fusion of stories received over the last week or so take all quoted figures of casualties as possibly out-of-date. At the time of merging these stories (12 Mar 20) there have been 127,863 confirmed cases world-wide resulting in 4,717 deaths. 68,309 people have already recovered with the remainder either in self-imposed or advisory isolation, in basic hospital care and a relatively small number in critical care. The pandemic has affected 116 countries/regions. Source: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 - a graphical display produced by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
Many countries have taken emergency measures to restrict travel or large gatherings of people. As this is a very fluid situation we suggest you refer to the media of any specific country in which you have an interest. President Trump has banned transatlantic air travel from countries in mainland Europe to the USA from Friday 2020-03-13 at 23:59 (no timezone stated) for a period initially of 30 days, and air travel within Europe is also significantly disrupted.