Apple listed as an exhibitor at MWC 2017

A screenshot showing Apple's listing at Mobile World Congress

Apple appears to be scheduled to have an official presence at Mobile World Congress next year in Barcelona in a move that would mark a dramatic shift for the company.

The Mobile Network reported this morning that Apple is listed as an exhibitor on Mobile World Congress’s website, having booked three meeting rooms. The company is scheduled to be in Hall 8 at the App Planet Stand as well as two locations in the walkway stand above Hall 2.

Apple representatives weren’t immediately available to comment on the report.

As The Mobile Network noted, all three rooms are still listed as “GSMA” on the exhibition floor plans rather than under Apple’s name. Most other rooms appear to be labeled under the name of the company scheduled to attend.

Apple has long eschewed major industry shows such as MWC and the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, opting instead to announce news and products on its own timeline and at its own events. Last month, for instance, Apple hosted a high-profile presentation in San Francisco to introduce the iPhone 7 at the same time CTIA Super Mobility 2016 was occurring in Las Vegas.

That strategy appears to have served Apple well: Journalists and tech enthusiasts continue to flock to its own events, and the company doesn’t risk being upstaged by Samsung or any other vendor at industry-wide events.

Whether Apple truly plans to appear at MWC next year is far from clear, of course, and its mere presence doesn’t necessarily mean the company plans to make any announcements. But MWC would surely love the added attention Apple could bring simply by attending.