Huawei Releases Expensive Foldable Mate X Smartphone in China
- November, 17, 2019 - 11:11
- Science news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Mate X is the second foldable smartphone to enter the market since the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
There's finally a major foldable smartphone on the market beyond the Galaxy Fold... if you live in China.
Huawei's new foldable Mate X was originally to be launched in June, then September, and finally some time in November. On November 16 the Mate X officially went on sale in China. There's still no word on when it might reach other countries, Engadget reported.
As promised, Huawei has started selling the Mate X through its Vmall online store. It'll cost a steep 16,999 yuan (about $2,400 US), but you'll also have a unique, 5G-capable device that can unfold to offer a sizeable 8-inch display. There's still no mention of rollouts in other countries, though. Huawei said in October that Mate X access was contingent on 5G deployments in other countries and that expansion was "under review."
The Mate X may face difficult odds outside of its home country. While the US' decision to blacklist Huawei doesn't matter much in China, where phones don't come with key Google apps in the first place, it's another story virtually everywhere else. Access to apps like Gmail is frequently a must-have in regions like Europe and North America, and it could be tough to sell such an expensive device without that access -- especially when the Galaxy Fold doesn't have that problem.
The Mate X will be released without Google apps or Microsoft chips as a recent article reports: "Chinese tech giant Huawei is selling its first folding smartphone without Google apps or US-made processor chips following sanctions imposed by Washington.The Mate X, which unfolds to 14.6 centimetres (5.8 inches) wide, went on sale Friday on Huawei’s online store in China priced at 16,999 yuan ($2,422). It competes with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold launched in September."
Even in China the Mate X has only been on sale in its online store. In October Huawei said a global launch plan is under review but nothing has been confirmed since then. Given that Huawei is under heavy scrutiny by the US government for security concerns the phone may never be available in the US.