Feb 25, 2020 - Technology

With no Mobile World Congress, product announcements start rolling in

A cleared out space for the Mobile World Congress.

Inside the Mobile World Congress (MWC) pavilion in Barcelona, Spain during the dismantling of the stands following the cancellation of the fair due to the coronavirus crisis and company cancellations. Photo: David Zorrakino/Europa Press via Getty Images

With the cancellation of Mobile World Congress, many tech companies now have lots of products to announce and no physical place to do it. The result has been a flurry of press releases and webcasts designed to replace planned in-person gatherings. In the last 24 hours or so, Intel, Sony and Huawei have all announced new products and components.

Why it matters: The show was to have been a key launching point for a number of products, including several high-end 5G-capable phones.

Driving the news:

  • Huawei announced a new Mate XS foldable phone and a pair of new laptops. The laptops have Intel's chips, but the phones will have to do without the Play Store and other Google apps due to ongoing trade restrictions.
  • Intel announced new technology for use in building 5G networks.
  • Sony announced its first 5G phone, the Xperia 1 II, along with a mid-range device.

The big picture: A Barcelona launch wouldn't necessarily have dramatically changed the landscape for any of these devices. However, the conference cancellation did take away some momentum, and could be even more devastating for smaller companies that were counting on the event not only for press meetings, but also to secure distribution for their products.

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