It looks like the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC 2020) is going to be a slightly muted affair after several major brands have announced plans to fully or partially pull out of the annual tech event due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Now, after Samsung and LG, Sony is the latest tech giant to withdraw from the annual mobile expo that is slated to start on February 24 and go on till February 27.
Sony backs out of MWC 2020
The Japanese tech giant issued a press release on Monday, February 10 that it has withdrawn from the MWC 2020 event in Barcelona over concerns relating to the novel coronavirus contagion.
"Sony has been closely monitoring the evolving situation following the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization on January 30th, 2020," Sony's press release read.
"As we place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our customers, partners, media and employees, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from exhibiting and participating at MWC 2020 in Barcelona, Spain."
Sony's absence will be a blow to MWC
Sony's decision to not participate in the event comes as a big blow to MWC and for Sony fans throughout the world, because the company has always been among the biggest exhibitors at the event over the years, and it was also expected to unveil an important smartphone at the event, most likely the Sony Xperia 5 Plus.
Press conference will be held online
Sony has said instead of holding the live press conference at the MWC event which was originally scheduled for 8:30AM CET, Monday, February 24 in Barcelona, it will now be hosting it online on its official Xperia YouTube Channel at the same time.
So far, many major tech exhibitors have announced their withdrawal from MWC 2020. Tech giants NVIDIA, Amazon, LG, ZTE and Samsung (which has announced it will partially pull out of the event), are among the major exhibitors who have backed out of MWC.
Sony Xperia 5 Plus
The Xperia 5 Plus is expected to come with a 6.6-inch OLED display, a triple rear camera setup and an additional ToF (time-of-flight) sensor. It is also said to have a notch-free 8 megapixel selfie camera, stereo speakers and a side-mounted fingerprint sensor.