Samsung and Lenovo representatives wont show up in person to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, according to statements obtained by Reuters and The Verge, respectively.
Samsung says it has made the decision to withdraw from exhibiting in-person and will instead attend remotely to prioritize the health and safety of its customers and employees. A Lenovo spokesperson told The Verge that the company will attend virtually instead of in person and that it informed the GSM Association, which organizes the event, about its plans on Friday. Neither company has announced what its remote presence will look like.
The in-person event is still scheduled to happen in June, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and difficulties with vaccination availability outside the US. The GSMA also fought against shutting down last years event early on in 2020 before several big brands dropped out. This year, weve already seen Google announce that it wont be exhibiting, in addition to Samsung and Lenovos remote announcements.
Weve reached out to several other large brands about their attendance plans, including ZTE, Huawei, and Sony. None of the companies responded to requests for comment.
Update May 11th, 5:21PM ET: Lenovo confirmed to The Verge that it wont attend MWC 2021 in person. Headline and copy have been updated to reflect.