Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the biggest mobile event of the year. The show sees the launch of many of the year's top smartphones, smartwatches and tablets, as well as seeing the emergence of the hottest new trends in mobile, such as 5G.
In 2020, due to the spread of coronavirus, the GSMA has taken the decision to cancel the show. It's an unprecedented, move, with John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA saying:
"With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event."
Prior to this decision being taken, many companies has withdrawn from the show, postponing plans or making other arrangements to launch new products and services. Here's what was due to launch at the show, that will now happen elsewhere, or at a later event. Essentially, here's what we're missing out on.
What was scheduled to launch at Mobile World Congress 2020?
Here's a rundown of what we were expecting to see, with more details below. Bear in mind that many of these devices are rumoured rather than confirmed:
- Sony Xperia 5+
- Sony Xperia mid-range update
- Xiaomi Mi 10
- Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro
- Nokia 8.2
- Nokia 5.2
- New Nokia Original
- Oppo Find X2
- LG G9 ThinQ
- LG V60 ThinQ
- Huawei Mate XS
- Honor View 30 Pro
- Honor 9X Pro
- Moto G8
- Moto One 2020
- Moto Edge/Edge+
Sony Mobile at MWC 2020
Sony Mobile always launches new handsets at MWC and we're expecting a flagship update for 2020, most likely building on the Xperia 1. Sony will be hosting an online press conference to launch its new products. That might be an Xperia 2 (or the Xperia 1 second-gen) and we've also seen the name Xperia 5 Plus floating around. It's likely to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. There's also rumour of a mid-range Snapdragon 765 device, but very little to go on in that regard, perhaps an Xperia 10 update. Some commentators are saying that we'll see three new phones.
Xiaomi at MWC 2020
The Xiaomi Mi 10 was unveiled in China on 13 February, with the global launch originally being scheduled for 23 February. That's now been cancelled, with Xiaomi confirming that it will be rearranging a new event at some point in the future. The Xiaomi Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro are flagship level handsets, with a 6.67-inch display, 108-megapixel camera and running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 with 5G.
Nokia (HMD Global) at MWC 2020
HMD Global who makes Nokia phones has cancelled the planned launch of its new products. The company has said it will update us on when it will announce its new products in the near future. We've heard that Nokia will be launching an affordable 5G handset in 2020, on the Snapdragon 765 platform. It's reported to be called the Nokia 8.2, but few details are currently known. We're expecting updates across its range of affordable Android One phones, perhaps with a Nokia 5.2 launching - and we're also expecting a Nokia Originals, a new version of a classic Nokia phone.
Oppo at MWC 2020
Oppo was due to launch the Oppo Find X2 at Mobile World Congress in 2020. The Find X2 is rumoured to sit on the Snapdragon 865 platform. It's also rumoured to have a camera under the display for a notch-free finish. With the cancellation of Mobile World Congress, the company has postponed its launch plans.
LG at MWC 2020
LG was one of the first to withdraw from Mobile World Congress because of the coronavirus and won't launch the anticipated new devices at the event - rumoured to be the LG G9 ThinQ and LG V60. LG has confirmed it will be holding launch events at another time.
Huawei at MWC 2020
- 23 February, 14:00 CET
We'd always expected the Huawei P40 and P40 Pro to be announced in March 2020, so MWC was likely to be around other devices - perhaps a MateBook laptop or maybe the updated folding phone, the Huawei Mate Xs. So far we've heard nothing about Huawei's plans - we don't know if it's still hosting an event or not, or if it has other plans.
Honor at MWC 2020
- 24 February, 17:30 CET
Honor was the first company to confirm an event at Mobile World Congress and so far we've heard nothing about cancelling those plans, but we've asked. We were expecting the announcement of the View 30 Pro and the 9X Pro for Europe.
Motorola at MWC 2020
Motorola was holding a press event in Barcelona, but that's now cancelled - and Motorola has confirmed to us that it will be rescheduling. Rumours suggested that Moto might be launching a flagship device called the Motorola Edge. This new phone might be joined by the Moto Edge+, although it might actually be called the Moto One 2020. At any rate, we're expecting a Motorola flagship phone.
Qualcomm at MWC 2020
Qualcomm will be powering many of the flagship devices that get launched around the time of MWC 2020. While it's already announced its core smartphone hardware for 2020, the company has already teased that it will be showing off a reference design for its next-gen expanded reality headset, powered by the new Snapdragon XR2. For Qualcomm this is a loss of the opportunity to push 5G and the new devices that it's powering.
What and when is Mobile World Congress?
MWC is an annual trade show run by the GSMA. The location theoretically moves around Europe, but for many years it has been held in Barcelona, Spain.
For 2020 the show was due to run from 24-27 February - those being the dates when the show is active, the keynotes are running and the exhibition halls are open. However, many of the big announcements were set to happen at the press conferences on Sunday 23 February - most of which have now been cancelled.
Outside of the consumer sphere, it also draws in many of the industry heavyweights to talk about the future of mobile, like 5G, mobile hardware, VR and other associated technologies.