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Apple shows up as Mobile World Congress 2017 exhibitor, listing quickly pulled

Though Apple has long sworn off trade shows, a 2017 exhibitor listing for "Apple, Inc." that popped up on —and was just as quickly pulled from —the official Mobile World Congress website on Wednesday suggests the company might make a showing at the expo in February.




While the listing was live, it showed Apple renting out space in the App Planet section located in Hall 8.1 and two corporate stands on the upper level of Hall 2, according to MacRumors. Apple was removed from MWC's online exhibitor list shortly after the report was published.

A featured pavilion at next year's convention, the App Planet Exhibition throws a spotlight on companies marketing software or app related products. In 2016, App Planet hosted more than 200 exhibitors.

Why Apple would break its informal embargo on industry conventions is unclear, though the company is looking to extend an already significant reach into the developer community. For example, Apple this month opened a European iOS Developer Academy in Italy, which it promised to expand to 800 additional students next year. Similar app-centric accelerators are slated to open in India and China next year.

Apple might also be planning to showcase Apple Music's upcoming "Planet of the Apps" TV series at MWC 2017. The expo's timing lines up with the reality show's late-2016 to early-2017 shoot schedule. Incorporating elements of reality TV game shows, "Planet of the Apps" pairs developers with mentors will.i.am, Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow and Gary Vaynerchuk as producers "search for the next great app."

While mere conjecture, Apple could be planning to cap off the video series by highlighting the winning app or apps at MWC.

Apple's last public industry event was a keynote at Macworld in 2009. The company has since abandoned trade shows in favor of events at its campus in Cupertino, Calif., and larger venues like Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, the latter of which recently hosted the iPhone 7 debut.