Huawei will delay launch of foldable Mate X phone to September

17 Jun 2019

Huawei logo. Image: alexeynovikov/Depositphotos

Huawei had initially aimed to launch its foldable phone in June. A spokesperson has now confirmed that it will be carrying out extra tests to avoid the pitfalls that Samsung’s launch ran into.

Huawei has confirmed that it will delay the launch of its foldable smartphone, the Mate X, until September so that it can carry out extra tests on the product to ensure apps function properly when the phone is unfolded.

Speaking to CNBC, a spokesperson for the Chinese telecoms giant cited the issues with Samsung’s foldable phone launch as motivation to push the launch date out from June because it wants to be “cautious”.

“We don’t want to launch a product to destroy our reputation,” the spokesperson said.

During the review stage in April, when Samsung phones were sent out to journalists, it was reported that the phone would begin to break in as little as two days.

Huawei’s Mate X was unveiled in February but has yet to go on sale. The spokesperson also confirmed that the company is focusing on markets that are rolling out 5G, as the new model is 5G-capable. The phone is set to cost around €2,299.

Just last week, Huawei said that it was cancelling the launch of its new Matebook laptop, citing US blacklisting. The company was placed on an ‘entity list’ by the US Department of Commerce in May, essentially forbidding US firms from working with it. Since then, a number of firms have said they will no longer cooperate with Huawei.

In the case of the laptop launch, the Matebook’s reliance on Intel chips and Microsoft software has made delivering the PC impossible. Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer division, has said that as long as the company remains on the entity list, the laptop will not be able to be launched.

According to a report in Bloomberg, Huawei is preparing for a hit to its international smartphone shipment in the range of 40pc to 60pc amid US president Donald Trump’s trade ban.

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said during a panel discussion in Shenzhen that this level of impact had not been anticipated. “We didn’t expect the damage to be this serious.”

Huawei logo. Image: alexeynovikov/Depositphotos

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic