- The MWC had to be cancelled for this year over Coronavirus concerns.
- The decision put multiple smartphone launches into jeopardy.
- Despite that, a few brands are moving ahead with smartphone launches but there are change of plans.
The crucial decision to call off the world's biggest tech convention, the Mobile World Congress this year has thrown the future of several upcoming smartphones into uncertainty. GSM Association had last week announced it is not holding the MWC 2020 in the wake of Coronavirus fears. But while this seems like a prudent move, it has shattered the ambitions of many smartphone brands that were looking to capitalise on the event's global popularity but had to cancel the launches instead. A few of them, however, have changed their plans.
The influx of a plethora of smartphones that we witness every year at the end of February will not happen. Now, the companies that have changed plans will hold separate events to showcase their new smartphones but in a sporadic manner. These launches will take place at different points in time over the course of this year. Here is what you can expect from major smartphone brands after the MWC cancellation:
This year's MWC was important for Realme as it was its first entry to the show. But the Coronavirus threw the plans into chaos, leading to change in plans. After the MWC was officially cancelled, Realme announced that it is still moving ahead with the launch of its first flagship 5G phone, the Realme X50 Pro 5G, however, with an online-only event. The Realme X50 Pro 5G will be launched on February 24 at an online event in Madrid, Spain. The Realme X50 Pro 5G will come with a 90Hz display, 65W SuperDart Charge technology, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, and a dual punch-hole display.
MWC has been important for Nokia. HMD Global, the caretaker of Nokia's smartphone portfolio, has pushed its smartphones majorly at the tech exhibit so as to grab more eyeballs. At the MWC 2020, the Finnish company was likely to launch the Nokia 8.2, Nokia 5.2, Nokia 1.3, Nokia 400 4G, the first phone from the brand new Original series. But ahead of the cancellation of MWC 2020, HMD Global, in a statement, announced its withdrawal from the event as a preventive measure.
For now, the new timeline for the launch of Nokia phones is still being finalised, HMD Global said in its statement. We do not know if all of the smartphones, which have not been officially confirmed so far, will be launched simultaneously or HMD Global will hold separate events. Anyhow, the company's flagship for this year, the Nokia 9.2 is a mile off until HMD Global gets done with the development of features, including the under-display camera.
Sony may have quit India's smartphone market but it is optimistic about its footprint elsewhere. The Japanese colossus did also cancel its presence at the MWC 2020 in a statement over Coronavirus fears, much ahead of GSMA's announcement on the cancellation of the event. But, Sony is also one of the brands that are moving ahead with their launches, however, at their own events. Sony had announced that it will hold online events where the new Xperia 1.1 and Xperia 5 Plus are likely to debut. While the Xperia 1.1 will be the flagship device, expected to come with a 64-megapixel camera, Snapdragon 865 SoC, and 5G support, the latter is rumoured to pack bumped-up specifications such as a 6.6-inch OLED display, quad cameras at the back, and a Snapdragon 865 processor.
Oppo has been headlining the rumour mill for its breakthrough in what could be termed as the next generation of camera-display engagement. The company will launch the world's first smartphone with an under-display camera in June but its MWC event was centred around this year's flagship, the Find X2. Oppo's Find X2 is rumoured to come with a Snapdragon 865 processor, 65W fast charging technology, wireless charging, and a 120Hz display. The smartphone, originally scheduled to be launched at the MWC 2020, will now see the light of day sometime in March. We do not concrete timelines as such as of now.
Vivo has been showing off its outlandish technology on smartphones at MWC for a past few years. This year, the Chinese brand was supposed to unveil the Apex 2020 concept phone that found its place in the rumour mill without many details. Since the MWC is cancelled this year, Vivo has pushed back the unveiling for later, the specifics of which are not clear at this point.
Xiaomi was supposed to unveil the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro smartphones at the MWC 2020. Post the cancellation of MWC, Xiaomi put out a statement saying it is pulling out of the tech exhibit, outlining the safety of employees. While the Mi 10 series was launched last week in China, its global launch remains pending until the company finalises a date.