Huawei Opens Foldable Phone For Pre-Order In China

MobilitySmartphones

Have a spare $2400 lying about? Another delayed folding phone is available for pre-order in China

Huawei has made its 5G Mate X smartphone available for pre-order in China, ahead of its official launch on 15 November.

The folding smartphone had originally been slated to launch in June this year, but that was pushed back until September, and then the launch was delayed yet again after Huawei told TechRadar at a press event in China that there is “no possibility” of the folding phone making its September launch date.

Huawei’s folding phone had first been shown off to the world in February this year at Mobile World Congress, just a week after the Galaxy Fold had been introduced.

Huawei’s folding Mate X smartphone. Image credit: Huawei

Delayed Mate X

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was eventually relaunched in early September, after it had originally been slated to arrive in US shops on 26 April (UK 3 May). It costs a hefty $2,000 (£1,800).

Unlike the Galaxy Fold, whose launch was delayed by technical faults, the launch of Huawei’s Mate X was delayed not by technical faults, but rather supply chain issues as the Chinese firm struggled to deal with the fallout of a US blacklisting of Huawei over national security concerns.

That placement on the US entity list, cut off Huawei from using US technology such as Google Apps, and also means that the Mate X will not run the latest version of Android either.

Huawei’s other flagship device, the Mate 30, was recently launched without Google apps such as YouTube, GMail or Google Maps.

Huawei has previously said it planned to continue using Google’s Android operating system for its smartphones for the time being, but could make the switch to its newly introduced HarmonyOS “at any time”.

Pre-orders

Huawei on Wednesday started taking orders in China for the Mate X, with prices starting from 16,999 yuan ($2,403), a Huawei spokesman told Reuters.

Its global launch plan remains under review, Huawei reportedly said, meaning the 15 November launch date could potentially be moved back again.

He Gang, head of Huawei’s mobile phone division, was quoted by Reuters as saying on Wednesday the company has already sold more than 200 million phones so far in 2019, hitting that milestone more than two months earlier than it did in 2018.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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