Samsung cancels 2020 developers conference as pandemic continues raging
The company, which this week will hold its third virtual Unpacked event of the past two months, has opted not to have a digital event.
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Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
developers conference will take a break this year, as the novel
pandemic makes it impossible to gather thousands of people in one place.
The company said on its developer website that it has canceled its 2020 Samsung Developer Conference and that it's "disappointed that we will not be hosting the event this year and getting the chance to interact directly with you."
Samsung opted not to move its developers conference online, like how Apple handled WWDC virtually in June. Samsung itself is hosting its third digital product event since early August, with its Unpacked for Every Fan on Wednesday. While most of Apple's employees are based in Northern California, Samsung's R&D centers are spread across the globe, making a virtual event difficult to coordinate.
"To protect the health and safety of the developer community, our partners, our employees and local communities, we have made the difficult decision to not hold the Samsung Developer Conference this year," Samsung said in a statement. "We remain committed to keeping our developer community informed of our latest platform updates, and will continue to share important news and useful resources through our developer website and community forums."
While the early years of SDC were heavily developer-focused, small events -- the biggest news often was SDKs to add features to apps -- the company later used its conference to unveil new products. And it moved its conference from a hotel in San Francisco to a convention center that could accommodate thousands of attendees. At SDC in 2018, Samsung gave the first glimpse of its foldable phone, which would later be sold as the Galaxy Fold. Last year, Samsung teased the Galaxy Z Flip, its second foldable, which resembles a flip phone.
For many developers, SDC was the only time they could meet with the Korea-based engineers behind Samsung's newest
and software. It also became a place for a wide variety of Samsung executives to make their pitch for using and developing for the company's products.
Samsung plans to continue sharing information with developers through its website and forums, rather than hosting its formal event.
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