The last couple of months haven’t been kind to foldable phone aficionados.
In April, Samsung delayed the launch of its Galaxy Fold — and nearly two months later there’s still no official launch date.
Now, Huawei’s doing the same with its Mate X. The company told CNBC that the phone will launch in September, instead of June as originally planned.
Interestingly, Huawei reportedly partially placed the blame on Samsung and its foldable phone debacle. A Huawei spokesperson told CNBC that the company has decided to be “cautious” about the Mate X, after Samsung’s Galaxy Fold started breaking in reviewers’ hands in mere days of use.
“We don’t want to launch a product to destroy our reputation,” the spokesperson told CNBC.
It’s an explanation that makes sense, but it’s still unusual for a company to delay the launch of their product solely because their competitor’s product has design flaws. Especially since the two devices have a very different design; the Mate X folds outwards, while the Galaxy Fold has an extra screen and folds inwards. We reached out to Huawei for more clarification but have so far only been able to confirm that the September delay is real.
The Mate X is a promising foldable phone with an 8-inch foldable screen, a fairly thin form factor (11mm), and 5G. The rest of the specs are top-notch and include Huawei’s Kirin 980 chip, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and a 4,500mAh battery.
Whatever Huawei’s issues with the Mate X are, it’s likely that the company has delayed its launch at least partly due to the recently imposed U.S. trade ban, which forbids it from buying parts from U.S. companies without a special government approval. Earlier this week, Huawei delayed the launch of an upcoming MateBook laptop — possibly indefinitely — due to the ban.