Sony is the latest tech giant to withdraw from MWC

The Sony logo is displayed at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on February 25, 2019. - Phone makers will focus on foldable screens and the introduction of blazing fast 5G wireless networks at the world's biggest mobile fair starting February 25 in Spain as they try to reverse a decline in sales of smartphones. (Photo by Pau Barrena / AFP) (Photo credit should read PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images)

We are only a couple of weeks away from the world’s largest mobile technology conference, but it is shaping up to be sparsely populated. Sony has become the latest tech company to withdraw from Mobile World Conference (MWC) in Barcelona over concerns about the coronavirus.

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Sony has been one of the larger tech companies still using the show to launch some of its new phones and wearables rather than doing its own event outside of the conference circuit. This is another massive blow for MWC 2020, as it is increasingly looking like a bland show with few major attendees after many withdrawals.

“As we place the utmost importance on the safety and well-being 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,” the company said in a statement. They have decided to still have a press event, but that it will be held on the same date on YouTube, on its Sony Xperia channel.

Read: LG cancels Mobile World Congress event over coronavirus concerns

We were expecting the Sony Xperia 5 Plus to be launched at MWX 2020, among some other mid-range devices. According to leaks and rumours, the Xperia 5 Plus will be a 6.6-inch OLED phone, with triple rear cameras and a time-of-flight sensor. It may also have an 8MP selfie camera without a cut-out in the display.

Some of the major players that have withdrawn from the conference include LG, Amazon, Samsung and NVIDIA. At this rate the conference will be a week-long slog of journalists walking around empty halls and looking at the more weird and wonderful devices from the smaller exhibitors. While this could be really good for the smaller players, it is still a shame to lose out on some enticing device launches and press events.