Over the years, Apple gradually stopped going to trade shows in the oughts, making its last appearance at Macworld in 2009.
That’s why it was surprising when MacRumors published a listing that showed the company was set to be a first-time exhibitor at the 2017 Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest annual mobile that takes place in Barcelona, Spain every year.
While that listing was quickly pulled, likely at Apple’s request, it provided some intriguing information that suggests the Cupertino-based tech giant might attend the event in a business-facing capacity.
Apple’s listing shows one of its locations as being in the App Planet Exhibition, a pavilion set to feature more than 200 app-specific exhibitors, including Adobe and Google. The listing also revealed two spaces in the level above Hall 2 in the Fira Gran Via Conference Centre, which MacRumors suggests might be meeting rooms. This, coupled with the fact that the listing was removed, indicates that the company may attend the event in a business-facing, rather than consumer-facing capacity.
Eschewing a consumer-facing role would also mean Apple wouldn’t have to go back on its 2008 statement explaining why it would not be returning to Macworld, or many other trade shows, in the future.
“Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers,” the company stated.
“The increasing popularity of Apples Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.”