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CES 2021 cancelled over COVID-19 concerns, all-digital experience coming

CES moves online-only in 2021

Amid the global Coronavirus outbreak, the Consumer Technology Association has announced that the annual CES will be moving to an all-digital format for the 2021 show.

In a move that will surprise few, the CTA has decided to cancel the in-person component for CES 2021. The CTA has delayed making a decision for the 2021 show as it tracked the spread of COVID-19 which has been particularly rough in the US.

"Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it's just not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. "Technology helps us all work, learn and connect during the pandemic — and that innovation will also help us reimagine CES 2021 and bring together the tech community in a meaningful way. By shifting to an all-digital platform for 2021, we can deliver a unique experience that helps our exhibitors connect with existing and new audiences."

Leading up to the decision, the CTA had polled previous attendees for input as to whether they would feel comfortable attending the 2021 show in person and what changes they would like to see to feel safe. Despite its best efforts, the show is now transitioning to online-only.

CES 2021 will be held on January 6 through January 9 virtually. The current plan is to bring the show back to Las Vegas for 2022.

While Apple doesn't attend the show, the company's hardware continues to have a massive presence. Countless accessories makers announce their latest wares at the shows, with an increasing focus on home automation. In 2020, AppleInsider saw a massive influx of HomeKit products, USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 peripherals, and much more announced — with much of it yet to ship because of coronavirus-induced production problems.