With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold still up in the air, many were hoping to get their hands on the Huawei Mate X to get their foldable smartphone fix in the first half of 2019. Unfortunately, the company has revealed that it will not be launching its first foldable smartphone in June as originally planned. A spokesperson told CNBC that it is being more “cautious” with the launch of the Mate X after seeing Samsung’s failed launch of the Galaxy Fold with devices failing with days of them being sent to media outlets for review.
The good news is that Huawei’s delayed launch has more to do with network and app compatibility testing than hardware issues. The Huawei Mate X is a 5G smartphone and would likely be one of the first 5G devices to be deployed on 5G networks across several European countries. Huawei wants to make sure that the device offers the best experience possible when connecting to the new networks while also delivering an optimal software experience with apps which will take advantage of the new foldable display form factor.
“We don’t want to launch a product to destroy our reputation,” a Huawei the spokesperson told CNBC.
Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Huawei Mate X’s foldable display fold outward. This design makes the display panel more susceptible to scratches, but it does eliminate all of the design issues of the Galaxy Fold since the back of the foldable display is completely sealed leaving no room for debris to enter the phone through the hinge and damage the fragile display.
Since the Huawei Mate X was announced before the company was placed on the US Entity List, the device will still be able to launch with Android and Google Play support. The company is currently working on its “Plan B” operating system to get around the trade restrictions it is currently facing, but the Huawei spokesperson added that “We don’t want to go for our own systems; we still very much like the co-operation with Google in the past few years. If we are forced to do it by ourselves, we are ready. We can do in the next six-to-nine months.”
The 2,299 euros (roughly $2,600 USD) price point of the Huawei Mate X is extremely steep, but we doubt that the company will have any issues selling out of its first production run if Samsung isn’t able to get the Galaxy Fold to market before September.