Oct 19th 2016

An Apple a Day at MWC 2017

STORY UPDATE 1 (10.00 20th October) – Since writing this story we have received communication directly from Apple’s PR office to deny they have an “official presence at the show” and since then the listing on the MWC site has mysteriously disappeared.

STORY UPDATE 2 (14.30 20th October) – In an update to their original story, The Mobile Network has received a statement from the GSMA saying that, “We can confirm that Apple will have meeting space at Mobile World Congress, as they have had previously.” Looks like theory 2 (below) was correct (not sure about the ‘execution’ though).

As spotted by yours truly, and reported first in The Mobile Network, it looks like the obvious missing element at Mobile World Congress has been found. The recently published exhibitor list for MWC 2017 is listing Apple for the first time, a company that is such a huge part of the mobile ecosystem but one that, at MWC, has always been noticeable only by its absence.

Apple has famously avoided the event and while we’ve all become accustomed to the increasingly annoying Android robots getting in the way while we rush from one meeting to another, nobody has ever stumbled over a half eaten Golden Delicious. You might be pleased to hear that situation is still unlikely – Apple’s space is actually three meeting rooms rather than exhibition space but it’s a whole lot more than we’ve seen previously.

Strangely, although the the company appears in the exhibitor listing, on the show floor plans each of the meeting rooms is listed as space for the GSMA so we have two theories:

  1. The charm offensive has worked, this is the start of a new love affair and the ‘powers that be’ at the GSMA can’t wipe the smiles off their faces
  2. The listing was an accident and Apple has secretly been holding meetings at MWC for years. If that’s the case the aforementioned powers that be have probably already executed the culprit responsible (or at least they will when they see TMN’s story)

One final point on MWC 2017 but at a slight tangent – just how many meetings can one company possibly hold at the event? Just take at look at the collection of rabbit hutches that Facebook has assembled:

fb-at-mwc

 


Ian Hood
Ian Hood CEO