updated 07:40 am EDT, Thu September 3, 2009
Claims financial worries the primary factor
Nokia on Thursday said it was backing out of attending the yearly Mobile World Congress (MWC) in 2010. The cellphone firm claimed to ME that its recent emphasis on direct marketing means it can't support the expenses of attending the large Barcelona trade show. A separate event elsewhere in the city is considered likely but not certain.
The Finnish company isn't wholly dependent on MWC and this week is hosting its annual Nokia World show, where it launched multiple smartphones that included the N97 mini and N900.
The exit is nonetheless surprising for Nokia, which has regularly been one of the largest exhibitors at MWC and whose absence could deal a serious blow to the event as a showcase for new cellphone technology. Fears exist that at least smaller companies might also pull out knowing they have less incentive to match Nokia's marketing efforts. Officials from show host the GSM Association hadn't commented on the withdrawal.
More recent entrants into the cellphone industry have themselves often declined to attend the show. Most notably, Apple despite its increasing market share of smartphones has always preferred to host its own events and take full control of its public image. Google has usually had only an indirect presence since it launched Android, preferring instead to let hardware designers promote Android-based phones rather than advertise itself.