Samsung will no longer have an in-person presence at Mobile World Congress, which is scheduled to kick off in Barcelona next month. The company cited safety concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In an emailed statement, Samsung said the health and safety of its employees, partners, and consumers is its number one priority.
“We have made the decision to withdraw from exhibiting in-person at this year’s Mobile World Congress,” Samsung said in a statement to Reuters.
Although Samsung won’t physically attend the annual conference, the company said it will participate remotely. It’s unclear, however, what its remote presence will look like. Samsung joins a number of high-profile companies that have announced they won’t be at Mobile World Congress.
Google is another company that dropped out of attending Mobile World congress, while Sony, Nokia, Ericsson, and Oracle also decided not to have an in-person presence at the event. The GSMA, the organization that puts on the annual event, actually delayed the event from March 2021 to June 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns. The organization released a statement back in March following news that a number of companies would not attend.
“We appreciate that it will not be possible for everyone to attend MWC Barcelona 2021,” the GSMA said. “This is why we have developed an industry-leading virtual event platform that will ensure everyone can enjoy the unique MWC experience.”
The event was cancelled last year because of the pandemic, and despite ongoing concerns about the virus in many parts of the world, the conference is still going forward with in-person attendance. For what it’s worth, the organizers behind Mobile World Congress have said it has a multi-layered plan to ensure a safe environment for those who attend in-person.
Other big events, including E3, Apple’s WWDC, and Google’s I/O have all announced virtual-only attendance this year.