Breaking with recent tradition, Samsung had already said it would not be introducing its new Galaxy S8 smartphone at the massive Mobile World Congress that starts in late February.
Instead, the phone will be unveiled at a separate event on March 29. But that begged the question: Would Samsung still hold its annual press event at MWC?
In recent years, the Samsung event has essentially been the marquee press event, taking place Sunday evening on the eve of the official start of MWC. Last year, it made even bigger headlines when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise appearance to talk about his vision for virtual reality.
Well, last night we got the answer: Yes. Samsung sent out press invites that seemed to tease some kind of announcement about tablets.
But the company, in keeping with reduced expectations, has opted to hold the event in a smaller venue.
The last couple of years, Samsung staged the event at Barcelona’s Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona, which features an auditorium that seats 3,140 people.
This year, the event is being held across town in the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, which has an auditorium that seats 2,000. That’s not tiny, by any means. But it’s certainly an indication that things like tablets, smartwatches, and even virtual reality aren’t going to generate the same interest as a new smartphone.
Still, we’ll be there bringing you live coverage on Feb. 26.