Oh no, now the foldable Huawei Mate X is also delayed (by a whopping three months)

Oh no, now the foldable Huawei Mate X is also delayed (by a whopping three months)
After several years of steady, impressive growth in the global smartphone market, Huawei is seeing the very survival of its core businesses threatened by political tensions between the US and China. As much as the tech giant would like us to believe Trump's ban will have little to no impact on its sales numbers (if it comes into effect), the fact of the matter is the company doesn't have a viable backup plan for the chaos expected to ensue in a couple of months.

Even after seven years of secret development, Huawei's homebrewed Hongmeng OS is reportedly far from ready for primetime, and although recent tests may have shown the platform to be significantly faster than Android, actually replacing it on commercial devices with no help or official support from Google looks like a distant dream. Meanwhile, it remains unclear what can be done about future chipset production and supplies of other crucial components if Qualcomm, Intel, and Arm don't find a way to continue collaborating with the world's second-largest smartphone vendor.

As if Huawei didn't have enough on its plate, rumors of Mate X troubles are already gaining credence and specificity, even though company executives are insisting the delay of the Galaxy Fold rival is unrelated to the US blacklisting.

Huawei Mate X - the short road from no delay to a three-month setback


When the company formally unveiled its first-ever foldable device back in February (mere days after the public debut of the Galaxy Fold), no availability details were disclosed apart from a vague mid-year release target. But then Huawei committed to a June rollout (at least in China), reiterating the self-imposed deadline a couple of times.


The goal was obviously to beat Samsung's first foldable phone to the market and possibly to gather precious advertising ammunition by delivering on the company's promises, unlike the competition. While the latter objective has fallen through, the former could still very much be on the table. After all, it's not looking like the Galaxy Fold will be released in either June or July.

Even if Samsung manages to pull off an August launch alongside the Galaxy Note 10, the Mate X is likely to be welcomed with open arms in September for a couple of reasons. For one thing, at least Huawei is courageous enough and honest in announcing this lengthy delay rather than keeping everyone waiting and hoping for a swift conclusion. Also, it's important to remember the Huawei Mate X is fundamentally different from the Galaxy Fold, with a revolutionary design deemed trickier to implement by analysts and a single out-folding 8-inch display.

Android or Hongmeng? The million-dollar question


Since the Huawei Mate X is already in production, odds are it won't be affected by the US ban even if it does come into effect. As such, the foldable device might be able to run Android with full Google support out the box, although in terms of software updates, it's probably best not to get your hopes up. The same goes for seeing the Mate X released in many markets outside China, even if the company claims certification tests with "various carriers" are precisely the reason why this is now delayed until September.


That's unlikely to be the full story, though, as yesterday's Korean media report hinted at production difficulties caused by, you guessed it, the imminent US business embargo. Going forward, Huawei's "preference" naturally remains Google and Android in an attempt to honor a partnership of many years, but if it comes to that, Hongmeng will be ready to take over in "six to nine months."

That means the earliest the new OS could be rolled out is around December (not October), which leaves the Mate 30 lineup in a pretty awkward position. The only other details revealed by Huawei corporate communications head Vincent Pang are that Hongmeng will be based on the Android Open Source Project (naturally) and exclusively run on phones initially, with support for other devices (like tablets, smartwatches, and computers) planned for "later."

Related phones

Mate X
  • Display 8.0" 2200 x 2480 pixels
  • Camera 40 MP
  • Processor HiSilicon Kirin 980, Octa-core, 2600 MHz
  • Storage 512 GB + Nano Memory (NM)
  • Battery 4500 mAh

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3 Comments

1. vickygamit

Posts: 52; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

Next Bad Orange man will ban Oxygen because Chinese people also Oxygen US people will use CO2

2. Vokilam

Posts: 1219; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Trump is doing something that needed to be done ages ago. Every president was afraid to loose their popularity if they did what trump is doing with our trade agreements with China. If we got Hillary - we’d still be trying to figure out which bathroom we should use.

3. Sebring5

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 02, 2012

Launch in China is June 20. This story is here and everywhere else in Western journalism because of a conversation someone at CNBC had with a Huawei executive. No one in China believes this. No one has researched the matter themselves. Everyone is taking the CNBC story and buying it as is without validating it. The CNBC person did not get it right.

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