Huawei has delayed its upcoming folding display smartphone, the Huawei Mate X. Originally set to launch this month, a Huawei spokesperson told Android Authority the phone has been pushed back until September, but the spokesperson was unable to provide additional information.
CNBC reports the phone has been delayed while Huawei conducts further tests on the device — something said to have been decided in the wake of the Samsung Galaxy Fold issues. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) has also reported on the Mate X delay, stating Huawei wants to “improve the quality of the folding screen.”
The Galaxy Fold, Samsung’s first folding display smartphone, has also had its release date pushed back after tech reviewers spotted some issues with it. This occurred just days before the phone’s scheduled release last April; Samsung is yet to provide a new release date.
Huawei Mate X units, to our knowledge, hadn’t yet made their way to reviewers, so we don’t know if it had displayed any issues or if Huawei is simply being extra cautious.
However, in his brief time with it, our own Kris Carlon did note the presence of a bump where the Mate X screen folds. The Galaxy Fold has this issue too — we suspected it was just something we have to get used to with early folding display devices, but perhaps it’s being improved.
There’s also a possibility the Mate X delay is related to the recent restrictions the U.S. placed on Huawei, which Huawei recently confirmed had lead to the cancelation of an upcoming MateBook release.
The future of the Android operating system on Huawei phones is also in doubt as it is currently set to lose its Android license in the coming weeks (as part of the U.S. sanctions). CNBC suggested the phone would still run Android, but WSJ claims discussions are still being held over whether it will use the Android license. It isn’t clear if these discussions are happening internally at Huawei or between Huawei and Google, Alphabet, or another party.
Huawei does have a mobile operating system of its own in the works, which would reportedly launch as Oak OS outside of China, but details regarding what it would offer are scarce. It’s believed that Huawei could be ready to launch it this year, though.
The Mate X was set to go on sale for around 2,299 euros (~$2,600) packing premium specs and 5G support; you can see what it looks in action in this the short clip here.
We’ll keep you informed of all the Mate X news as we get it. Until there’s more, let me know what you think of the situation in the comments.