MWC 2021 has been delayed until late June

Outside MWC 2019 (Image credit: TechRadar)

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is one of the biggest events in the mobile calendar. It’s usually held in late February or early March but this year it was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic, and now it’s been announced that while it will probably be held in 2021, it will be delayed until the end of June to dates of June 28 - July 1.

According to La Vanguardia (a Spanish newspaper), the organization behind the event believes that by holding it in late June there will be enough progress with vaccines to get 85% of the hundred largest companies in the mobile sector to attend.

This delay isn’t terribly surprising – MWC 2021 was planned to kick off on March 1, which for a big in-person event doesn’t sound very practical given the current state of the world. Even with the delay to late June there can’t really be any guarantees, so we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s later delayed further or even cancelled again, depending on how things progress.

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Does a delayed event mean delayed launches?

MWC is typically where a large number of smartphones – as well as some tablets, wearables, and other gadgets – get unveiled. These include flagships from brands such as Sony, LG, Nokia, and Huawei (though notably the likes of Samsung and Apple tend to hold separate launches).

So will the delay of the event mean a delay to some of the upcoming phones from these companies? It’s too early to say but it’s entirely possible. So it may mean a relatively quiet start to the mobile year but with things picking up in the middle of the year.

However, that’s just speculation for now, and we’ll let you know as soon as there’s any real launch information about 2021’s phones.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.