Following the troubles Samsung has had in releasing its Galaxy Fold, a folding smartphone that proved to not be ready for prime time, rival Huawei has decided to delay the launch of its own folding Mate X. Huawei wants to perform some additional testing to ensure that its own version of the folding phone does not run into the same issues as the Galaxy Fold.
First announced in February, Huawei at the time said the Mate X would launch in mid-2019 starting at €2,299 (around $2,600 in US currency). It is a similar device to the Galaxy Fold, in that the screen can be folded, albeit by wrapping around the front and back. This allows owners of the device to use it as a traditional smartphone when folded shut, and as a mini tablet when opened.
The Mate X has a 6.6-inch main display (2480x1148 resolution, 19.5:1 aspect ratio) and a 6.4-inch rear display (2480x892 resolution, 25.9 aspect ratio). When opened, it serves as an 8-inch tablet with a 2480x2200 resolution and 8:7 aspect ratio.
Beyond the display, the Mate X rocks a Kirin 980 octa-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of onboard storage. It also features dual SIM slots and a 5G radio, along with the usual host of sensors. For taking photos, it sports a triple camera system consisting of a 40-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto shooter.
By all accounts, the Mate X is a high-end smartphone. It was previously reported in China that the anticipated mid-2019 launch would take place this month. However, a spokesperson for Huawei told CNBC that the launch has been pushed to September as the company takes a "cautious" approach.
"We don't want to launch a product to destroy our reputation," the spokesperson added.
Delaying the launch for additional testing is probably wise on Huawei's part. Obviously the issues with the Galaxy Fold have been well documented, but Huawei's predicament is unique. Huawei finds itself under a microscope after the US government banned American firms from conducting business with Huawei. American intelligence agencies have repeatedly warned that Huawei could be spying for the Chinese government, a notion that Huawei has vehemently denied.
Whether true or not, Huawei faces extra scrutiny. It also has the challenge of navigating mobile waters with the ban in place, whereas Samsung simply (or perhaps not so simply) just needs to figure out how to fix its Galaxy Fold.