HUAWEI DELAYS THE LAUNCH OF ITS $2,600 FOLDABLE SMARTPHONE
Huawei has delayed the launch of its $2,600 Mate X by three months in order to carry out further tests of the foldable smartphone. The Chinese Tech company now plans to release the Mate X in September, according to Glenn Schloss, a vice president of corporate communications at Huawei. The launch had been expected in June.
Huawei unveiled the highly-anticipated phone in February to huge fanfare during a mobile industry event in Barcelona. Rival smartphone maker Samsung has also delayed the launch of its $1,980 Galaxy Fold after some reviewers reported the device was breaking. They experienced defective hinges and broken screens.
Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment maker and No. 2 smartphone brand, faces a unique set of problems. The US Commerce Department placed Huawei on a trade blacklist last month, barring American firms from selling tech to the company. That would cut Huawei off from key suppliers like Google (GOOGL) and Micron (MICR).
Whether Huawei’s foldable phone will run Google’s Android operating system is “under discussion,” said Schloss. The US export ban is part of a broader US campaign against Huawei. Washington says that Huawei presents a national security risk, and that Beijing could use its equipment to spy on other nations. Huawei has repeatedly denied that any of its products pose such a risk.
A temporary reprieve from the US Commerce Department allows American companies to continue to supply Huawei with software and components to service existing networks until August. But the US trade blacklist has already started to affect Huawei’s smartphone business. A company executive said this week that Huawei no longer aspires to overtake Samsung to become the No. 1 smartphone seller by the end of the year.