Samsung, who has long been present at the IFA, will not attend this year’s Berlin conference.
IFA will kick off in September. On Tuesday, South Korean electronics giant said it would not attend the Berlin conference in the midst of a pandemic. Instead, Samsung said, “Share the latest news and announcements in our own digital event in early September.”
Samsung will also hold a digital unpack event in early August to showcase the latest smartphones, including new notebooks and Galaxy Folds. We usually introduce mobile devices in Unpacked, talk about home appliances using IFA and give details of new products. Last year, the company shared information about the Galaxy Fold and launched the first low-cost 5G smartphone.
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“Samsung does not participate in IFA 2020, but we look forward to continuing partnerships with IFA,” said a spokesperson.
Companies are rethinking their product launches with the new coronavirus, which infects more than 10.4 million people worldwide. The GSMA canceled the world’s largest mobile show, Mobile World Congress, a week before journalists arrived in Barcelona, Spain in late February. Apple, HuaweiandOnePlus, have held all digital events and introduced devices through press releases instead of the phone launch for the past 6 weeks. Last week, Apple held a virtual developer conference in California instead of bringing together thousands of app makers.
In late April, IFA organizers said the electronics show wouldn’t proceed as usual. A month later, they said the IFA will take place as a face-to-face event, but will not be open to the public as usual. IFA will also allow up to 1,000 people to attend each section of the event daily. Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon signed as one of the first keynote speakers of the year.
However, the situation has changed since May. The European Union plans to reopen its borders, but at least so far it blocks American travelers. The virus has exploded in parts of the United States and has reignited in Beijing. Samsung may be the first giant to pass the IFA this year, but is unlikely to be the last.
IFA usually doesn’t have the big news as CES (held every January in Las Vegas) or MWC, but it’s a big show for consumer electronics manufacturers, especially those that sell home appliances and computers. In addition, IFA usually has some mobile news. Last year, the first OLED TV incorporating Amazon Alexa debuted.
Samsung played a big role at IFA, showcasing the latest Note phones, Galaxy watches, and other products at the show. In recent years it has hosted its own Unpacked event in the United States to showcase new mobile devices, but it has taken over the entire hall at Messe in Berlin and holds various press events throughout the week.
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Like all technical conferences, IFA is an important place for company executives to trade and negotiate with each other. This includes partnerships for retailers and carriers to bring technology collaboration to devices and businesses. Face-to-face meetings are the key to a small business that does not have a sales team or to make money to travel around the world to make a deal.
The IFA also makes the convention hall open to the public. Last year’s trade show had nearly 2,000 exhibitors, typically about 200,000 attendees.
The organizers of CES, the gigantic electronics show in Las Vegas each year, plans to continue the meeting in January 2021.
Axios has previously reported news.
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