Is Apple to make shock appearance at MWC 2017?

20 Oct 2016

Outside Mobile World Congress 2016. Image: catwalker/Shutterstock

For the first time in eight years, Apple might be making an appearance at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, despite it once saying it was practically pointless for it to attend trade shows. What has changed?

As the most cash rich company on Earth, Apple has taken a somewhat blasé attitude towards the need to promote itself at events, believing them to offer little benefit to boosting sales with customers.

This is unsurprising given that since they last made a trade show appearance at Macworld in 2009, the iPhone 7 and its predecessors have all been snapped up quickly by enthusiastic Apple fanatics.

Back in 2009, it qualified its decision by saying that at the time “more than 3.5m people visit every week, and the website enables Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways”.

Yet now in 2016, a listing for Apple as one of the stands at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 has appeared on its website under the name “App Planet”.

As quickly as it appeared, the listing was removed; but a screenshot of the listing on MacRumours has revealed that the stand was expected to be a “unique area focusing on the latest technology from the fast-moving apps industry”.

Promoting Planet of the Apps?

The other areas listed on the MWC site showed that it was to have two meeting rooms in the upper areas of the event, suggesting that Apple might not want to be down with the thousands of public attendees.

Given the name, one possible purpose of the stand – if it was not an error on MWC’s part – would be to promote Apple’s upcoming reality series, Planet of the Apps.

Set to be released in 2017, the show will be an X-Factor-like show whereby app developers duke it out to create the best apps for Apple’s app store.

Among some of the names signed up to the series include tech entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk and musician

Outside Mobile World Congress 2016. Image: catwalker/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic