Huawei has delayed the launch of its highly anticipated foldable phone, the Mate X, from June to September.
Huawei’s reluctance to release the Huawei Mate X
The Chinese tech giant told CNBC that it was doing extensive testing to ensure the device was ready. It added that the company was taking a “cautious” approach following the failed launch of Samsung’s own foldable device, the Galaxy Fold. The Fold came out in April but shipment of the phone saw repeated delays.
“We don’t want to launch a product to destroy our reputation,” a spokesperson for Huawei told CNBC.
The bigger problem for Huawei, though, is not necessarily the reliability of relatively untested foldable technology. It’s the ongoing effects of the US trade ban.
Since Huawei’s placement on the so-called Entity List, American firms have been unable to sell or license any technology to the firm. This has created all sorts of trouble for Huawei, most notably its inability to license the full version of Google’s Android operating system.
Whether or not the Mate X — if and when it ships in September — will come with Android is unclear. CNBC says that the Mate X will ship with Android because the phone’s “initial launch was before Huawei’s placement on the Entity List.”
Alternatively, the phone might ship with Huawei’s own mobile OS, which it’s been developing for years. A spokesperson for the firm told CNBC that it would prefer to go with Google’s software. According to him: “We are ready to do it ourselves if we feel the pressure. We can do in the next six-to-nine months.”
Huawei’s “Foldable” Mate X
The Mate X first came out in February. The phone was an instant hit in the market. It was the most promising of the new crop of foldable devices. It has a single 8-inch OLED panel that folds in two. The phone arrives with 8GB of RAM, three cameras, 5G support, and costs roughly €2,299 ($2,600).