Huawei Delays Its Foldable Smartphone After Samsung’s Galaxy Fold Issues

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In February, Huawei unveiled its first foldable smartphone, the Huawei Mate X, during the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. The Mate X is expected to feature an 8-inch wraparound OLED display, a 4,500mAh battery, Huawei’s Kirin 980 processor, and a host of other impressive specs, including 5G.

After the initial announcement, the company mentioned a mid-2019 launch date and rumors of a June release date began circulating. However, Huawei has recently announced its decision to push back the Mate X until September, in order to carry out additional testing to avoid a repeat of Samsung’s troubles, according to a report from MacRumors.

A spokesperson for Huawei said the Chinese smartphone maker has become more “cautious” after learning of the embarrassing display issues some reviewers experienced while using Samsung’s attempt at a foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold.

“We don’t want to launch a product to destroy our reputation,” the spokesperson told CNBC.

Last month, the Trump administration added Huawei to a trade blacklist due to alleged national security concerns, which prohibits companies in the United States from conducting business with the telecom giant, but Huawei has insisted the supply chain issues caused by the ban are not the reason for this delay. Vincent Peng, a senior vice president at Huawei, reiterated that the reason for postponing the Mate X is simply to improve the quality of the device’s folding screen, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

According to several popular tech reviewers, the issues with the Galaxy Fold occurred when the screen’s protective layer began separating from the rest of the device — some reviewers assumed that the layer was removable. After attempting to fully remove the strip of plastic, the phone’s screen immediately stopped working. For other reviewers, the phone’s screen stopped working more gradually and without the removal of the protective layer, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.

And it doesn’t look like fixing these issues are currently a high priority for Samsung. A representative for the company stated “nothing has progressed since the April delay,” according to a report from 9to5Google.

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The Mate X might have a better chance of avoiding display issues since there is no gap in its fold, unlike that of the Galaxy Fold. This is because of the company’s decision to fold the screen around the outside rather on the inside, which, in turn, does not create a crease in the display.

Since Huawei phones run on Android, and the ban prevents Google’s parent company, Alphabet, from licensing its software to the company, Peng said Huawei could have its own Hongmeng operating system ready by early next year.

“Our preference will of course be Google and Android as we have been partners for many years,” he explained, according to Reuters. “But if the circumstances force us to, we can roll out Hongmeng in six to nine months.”

Huawei’s Mate X is expected to start at $2,600 in the United States.