IFA 2021 has been canceled. While some parts of the world appear to be returning to normal, COVID-19 is still breaking havoc with the emergence of new mutations and the slow rollout of the vaccine. IFA 2021 was expected to be the first big in-person tradeshow for the tech industry, originally scheduled for the first week of September with a “full-scale return” after last year’s attempt to hold a socially distanced show.
Based on how COVID-19 numbers are trending in North America and some parts of Europe, the in-person tradeshow in Berlin appeared viable, but the show organizers have announced today that IFA 2021 has been canceled. In working with the German authorities, the IFA Berlin organizers decided to pull the plug due to the current failure to curb the spread of the virus in Germany and in other countries across the globe.
“Innovation needs a platform; it needs the focus of global attention. That’s why brands and manufacturers across the tech industry were very keen to come to IFA Berlin 2021. Unfortunately, the latest public health developments introduced too much risk into everybody’s planning for the event,” said Kai Hillebrandt, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH. “There simply are now too many uncertainties. Therefore, right now it has become near impossible for anyone to responsibly plan their participation in any trade show.”
Besides 2020, quite a few new Android devices have made their debut at IFA over the past few years. Manufacturers will still be sticking with their product launch plans, but we’ll simply have to ensure more virtual product launches rather than seeing the new devices in person.