KEY POINTS

  • Samsung has opted not to participate in this year's IFA in Berlin
  • IFA 2020 is poised to be one of the biggest in-person tech fairs since the pandemic prompted lockdowns and social distancing 
  • Samsung is scheduled to host an online event in early September 

While it's not the first time that a global company has decided to pull out from a major event due to COVID-19, it is only obvious that they are still looking to protect the health and safety of its staff and audience, as well as to prevent the spread of the virus.

This year's Internationale Funkausstellug, better known to the tech world as the IFA and Europe's largest tech fair, is supposed to be one of the biggest in-person events since the virus mandated lockdown and social distancing protocols and after a bevy of other conventions was forced to cancel or postpone their schedules due to COVID-19.

Engadget said IFA organizers were given the go signal to hold their expo on September 3 to 5, provided that it will be an invitation-only affair with four separate events and each will be limited to 1,000 people per day.

Samsung, whose company showroom in Seoul is pictured, has overall turnover equivalent to a fifth of South Korea's national gross domestic product Samsung, whose company showroom in Seoul is pictured, has overall turnover equivalent to a fifth of South Korea's national gross domestic product Photo: AFP / Jung Yeon-je

“After all the event cancellations during the past months, our industry urgently needs a platform where it can showcase its innovation so that it can recover and rebound. The recovery of our industry starts here at IFA Berlin,” said Executive Director Jens Heithecker, adding that while virtual events offered a strategic alternative, they lack the “immediacy, hands-on experience and human connections” to make it successful.

Despite this, the IFA will be staging its tech ventures without Samsung. According to The Korea Herald, the world's largest Smartphone and TV vendor has decided Tuesday not to take part in the IFA because of the pandemic. The Korean tech mogul also revealed that they will be hosting an online event in September.

“While Samsung will not be participating in IFA 2020, we look forward to our continued partnership with IFA in the future,” a Samsung spokesperson told TechCrunch.

The representative however didn't elaborate on what the event is about and if they will frontline their latest Smartphones to their consumers. In addition, the statement wasn't able to disclose why Samsung opted not to join IFA 2020, but Engadget pointed out that it's because the company wanted to be “extra careful” considering that COVID-19 is still a major health factor worldwide.

Samsung has been a regular exhibitor at the IFA since 1991, according to The Korea Herald.