MWC 2020 – Mobile World Congress cancelled – and we are sad

MWC 2020

The annual MWC 2020, Barcelona, February 24-27 is cancelled due to concerns about the Coronavirus.

GSMA, the organisation behind MWC 2020 (MWC website here), the world’s largest mobile trade show, has announced that it is officially cancelling the show. The show usually attracts more than 2500 exhibitors and 100,000+ attendees from 200 countries to Barcelona.

MWC 2020 postponement is not an option. The host city, key sponsors and supporters have decided that MWC will resume as normal in 2021. GSMA also hosts a Shanghai version later in the summer (our Winter) and its future is looking equally shakey.

And let’s be blunt – 90% of the world’s smartphones are designed and/or made in China – many in the Wuhan precinct. It, and Shanghai could not proceed anyway.

Why are we sad at the loss of MWC 2020?

Our deepest sympathies are with those affected in China, and all around the world.

But we are sad that some 2400+ exhibitors and 100,000+ attendees will not get to see the latest phone tech all under one roof.

We are sad because Channel 7 GadgetGuy and the Sunrise crew had put so much into preparation. We normally publish 20 or so articles from there.

And because WMC has a huge economic impact of €492 and generates 14,100 part-time jobs in a beautiful and unique city that needs it.

MWC 2020

Instead, phone makers will rely on news outlets like GadgetGuy to curate their press releases and to ensure that our readers get a bigger picture of what is to come in 2020.

We also wanted to see the tsunami of lower-cost 5G devices that may help breathe life into the 5G corpse – part of the great 5G Hoax perpetrated on Aussies by Tel$tra.

We also wanted to see the up and coming companies – the smaller guys – that take risks and innovate and rely on MWC as their one marketing tool  – well next year.

Bottom line – The delayed product releases due to the show cancellation, as well as the significant supply-side challenges due to the coronavirus’ broader impact in China, could delay the smartphone industry’s return to growth into 2021.

The deals that won’t be done could impact the mobile phone industry well into the future.