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posted by Fnord666 on Friday February 14 2020, @03:04AM   Printer-friendly
from the what-now? dept.

With MWC [Barcelona] 2020 canceled, most new Android phones face a tough debut:

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

Previously:
MWC Barcelona 2020: "Mobile World Congress" or "Most Won't Come"?


Original Submission

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MWC Barcelona 2020: "Mobile World Congress" or "Most Won't Come"? 35 comments

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]

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by barbara hudson on Friday February 14 2020, @03:24AM (8 children)

    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Friday February 14 2020, @03:24AM (#958045) Journal
    Does anyone really get excited over yet another smartphone any more, except the freaks who keep jazzing over non-operational crap like the PinePhone that can't even make phone calls but "Linux "?

    It's just going to be a convenient excuse for execs to use when trying to explain their latest failure.

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    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by RamiK on Friday February 14 2020, @04:55AM (1 child)

      by RamiK (1813) on Friday February 14 2020, @04:55AM (#958072)

      You're thinking about consumer shows. Trade shows are where retailers link up with suppliers and go through their on-display products. For small Chinese suppliers it's quite devastating not having a platform to meet up with the likes of Wallmart.

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      • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Friday February 14 2020, @01:58PM

        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Friday February 14 2020, @01:58PM (#958149) Journal

        If they're dependent only on this one trade show to make business connections they're dead anyway. It's just another marketing tool, not "the one and only." And seriously, nobody's really interested in another 250 different generic Android phones anyway. Same as tablets. No longer a hot commodity item. And the machine and parts suppliers already know who to contact at the assemblers and designers. With tho COVID19 virus people would rather stick to email anyway - at least any email virus won't kill you or get you stuck in quarantine for two weeks.

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    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday February 14 2020, @07:40PM (5 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 14 2020, @07:40PM (#958258) Journal

      Does anyone really get excited over yet another smartphone any more, except the freaks who keep jazzing over non-operational crap

      1. It is spelled 'jizzing'.
      2. It gives people the illusion that the next generation of equipment will finally fix all their problems in life.

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      • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Friday February 14 2020, @08:03PM (4 children)

        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Friday February 14 2020, @08:03PM (#958279) Journal
        According to the urban dictionary it's is [urbandictionary.com]. Though I should imagine that like words such as centre, defence, etc,. there are alternative spellings.
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        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @08:11PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @08:11PM (#958285)

          The link actually seems to say the opposite.

          But I suppose it depends upon what the meaning of the word 'iz' is.

          • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Friday February 14 2020, @11:30PM

            by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Friday February 14 2020, @11:30PM (#958338) Journal
            Damn autocorrect censorship is fucké. And for the curious, that alternative spelling is because without the é, autocorrect changes it to "duck".

            What's interesting is that even 40 years ago, the word fucké was considered something that French speaking grandmas could say because it wasn't real French.

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        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday February 14 2020, @08:17PM (1 child)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 14 2020, @08:17PM (#958287) Journal

          Alternative spellings are the wrong colour of grey. Forcing the reader to consider the 96% of the world population who live outside of US borders.

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          • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Friday February 14 2020, @11:25PM

            by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Friday February 14 2020, @11:25PM (#958337) Journal
            It's only in the last 3 centuries that anyone even bothered to standardize spelling. Just look at Shakespeare - he spelled his name at least 6 different ways.

            I liked the approach in Clipper - the keyword COLOUR and COLOR were both fine. I used to make #define for allowing two different spellings for the same function as a matter of routine. No big deal. It's not worth fighting over.

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday February 14 2020, @03:29AM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday February 14 2020, @03:29AM (#958049) Journal

    AMD can issue a press release and gets tens of thousands of people watching a product announcement stream on YouTube. That info is immediately reposted on hundreds of tech sites. Samsung and others can do the same.

    it's where companies hammer out deals behind the scenes

    Try a phone call.

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    • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Friday February 14 2020, @02:13PM

      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Friday February 14 2020, @02:13PM (#958156) Journal

      AMD can issue a press release and gets tens of thousands of people watching a product announcement stream on YouTube.

      People actually watch that shit? Or is it that marketing keeps pumping crap out to justify their paycheque?

      And here I thought that

      I need to get a life …

      It's an ad. It's not a Super Bowl ad, where the ads are better than the game. Just an ordinary ad. If it were on TV, you'd change the channel or go to the bathroom or whatever … just because it's an ad on the Internet doesn't mean you should treat it any differently.

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  • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Friday February 14 2020, @03:52AM (5 children)

    by Mykl (1112) on Friday February 14 2020, @03:52AM (#958056)

    Without a doubt this will benefit the big players (e.g. Apple, Samsung), as they don't rely on MWC to cut deals like this.

    It will be very interesting to see how this year plays out without MWC. It's possible that the industry works out other ways to get business done. If that happens (which I think it will), it's bad news for the show in the longer term!

    What's even more interesting for me is how many other trade shows etc will be impacted by Coronavirus fears. This could well spell the end of the company-sponsored trade show junket for good.

    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Friday February 14 2020, @04:22AM (1 child)

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 14 2020, @04:22AM (#958062) Homepage Journal

      Maybe the industry will figure out how to run a virtual trade show on their phones!

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday February 14 2020, @04:46AM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday February 14 2020, @04:46AM (#958069) Journal

      This could well spell the end of the company-sponsored trade show junket for good.

      I doubt it. The junket worked just fine for years (although some shows declined), but coronavirus is the final straw? We might as well talk about a retooled civilization that eliminates air travel and reduces all human contact because of bioweapons floating around (some made by mad scientists in home basements).

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      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Mykl on Friday February 14 2020, @06:21AM

        by Mykl (1112) on Friday February 14 2020, @06:21AM (#958093)

        The Coronavirus won't destroy trade shows per-se, but if businesses can successfully achieve the goals that would normally be achieved at the trade show this year (without having to actually attend the trade show), then they may decide that the show is no longer a cost-efficient way of getting things done. If it costs me $200k to send my people to MWC and host a small booth, but only $75k to get the same results through other means (e.g. flying reps directly to target clients for 1-1 conversations), then I'm going to continue to use the $75k approach next year, even if the trade show is back on.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday February 14 2020, @07:43PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 14 2020, @07:43PM (#958259) Journal

      It will be very interesting to see how this year plays out without MWC.

      What if everyone realized that the world didn't end. (unless coronavirus gets much worse.)

      And that they don't actually need this show?

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @04:45AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @04:45AM (#958068)

    Commie China is mightier than Google/Apple/Princess Cruise all put together.

    The Power of Stir-fried Bats!

    What happened to batman, btw?

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday February 14 2020, @04:47AM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday February 14 2020, @04:47AM (#958070) Journal

      The Joker made him drink the soup.

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @05:04AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @05:04AM (#958074)

        Bat soup? That's like ... cannibalism or sum.

        I don't mean to judge, though.

    • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Friday February 14 2020, @05:49AM

      by MostCynical (2589) on Friday February 14 2020, @05:49AM (#958082) Journal

      Batman?
      Still a year away [wikipedia.org]

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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Arik on Friday February 14 2020, @05:08AM (3 children)

    by Arik (4543) on Friday February 14 2020, @05:08AM (#958075) Journal
    It's always sad when people are dying, but a disease that managed to take out the smartphone industry could have been a net benefit.

    Maybe next plague.
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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @05:15AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @05:15AM (#958078)

      "Maybe next plague. "

      Yeah, this one won't do.

      It killed loads in China, but mostly in the city of Wuhan and the province of Hubei where the city sits in, and outside that, even in China, it appears to be viral infectrion no worse than a common flu.

      I have no love for the xi the poo regime, but I pray for the people of Wuhan and Hubei.

      • (Score: 2) by theluggage on Friday February 14 2020, @05:50PM

        by theluggage (1797) on Friday February 14 2020, @05:50PM (#958212)

        it appears to be viral infectrion no worse than a common flu.

        ...which kills thousands of people a year, is quite a big deal for people with existing heart/lung/etc. conditions, and carries a risk that it will mutate into something much worse. If a new flu-like virus (that the vulnerable haven't been vaccinated against) can be nipped in the bud that's a good thing. The global economy will probably recover from a few missed trade fairs, especially in the era of teh Interwebs...

        On the other hand, it ain't the Andromeda Strain and some of the panic is a bit ridiculous because, yes, you stand more chance of catching the regular flu - but then perhaps people should be a bit less complacent about spreading that...

        Meanwhile, why are these companies doom-and-glooming when they could be virtue-signalling about all the polar bears they're saving by not flying to Spain?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Friday February 14 2020, @07:46PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 14 2020, @07:46PM (#958265) Journal

      a disease that managed to take out the smartphone industry could have been a net benefit.

      Maybe next plague.

      Consider Biblical plagues.

      Rev 16:10 [biblegateway.com]

      10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. [ . . . ]

      You mean -- the twitter feed and facebook stopped working?!!!

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