Huwaei Delays Flagship Mate X Folding Phone

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Company says it is being more ‘cautious’ after issues with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, as it carries out additional 5G tests with carriers

Huawei said it would delay the launch of its folding smartphone until September in order to carry out additional tests.

The company introduced the Mate X in February at Mobile World Congress, and was initially targeting a mid-2019 launch date.

But the firm said it was taking a more “cautious” approach after problems emerged with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold in tests by reviewers.

“We don’t want to launch a product to destroy our reputation,” Huawei told CNBC.

Huawei is targeting the Mate X for use with 5G networks, and said it is testing the device with carriers around the world to ensure it works seamlessly with their next-generation technology.

Huawei
Ken Hu, Huawei’s deputy chairman and rotating CEO, speaks at Huawei European Innovation Day 2017. Image credit: Huawei

Tests

The device is planned to sell for some 2,299 euros or roughly £2,050.

Huawei last week cancelled the launch of a new laptop because the device required parts that were unavailable due to the firm having been placed on a US blacklist.

On Monday, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said the company had underestimated the imapact of the US blacklist, and now expects a revenue decline of around $25 billion (£20bn) both this year and next year, before sales recover in 2021.

It was the first time Huawei had quantified the effects of the ban, after initially saying it was prepared to become self-sufficient.

New operating system

The Mate X is still planned to launch with Google’s Android operating system, since the device was developed before Huawei was blacklisted.

But the company is developing its own operating system as a “plan B”, and recently began obtaining trademarks for the software, called “Hongmeng”.

Huawei said the new system could be ready in the next six to nine months, if necessary, but reiterated that it would prefer to continue using Android.

The US is also pressuring the UK and other countries to bar Huawei from participating in building their 5G networks.

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