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Huawei Mate X to Debut Oct. 23 With Just 300,000 Units (Report)

(Image credit: Huawei)

Reports on the Huawei Mate X launch have been a moving target, going from June to September and now, according to the latest news, to Oct. 23. One surprise: It seems the foldable phone is coming in rather limited quantities.

The date seems in line with the “end of October” timeframe that Huawei officially gave in September but, what we didn’t know is that Huawei is allegedly going to be very conservative when it comes to the number of Mate X units it will put on the market.

According to Chinese phone network CNMO, Huawei is only making 300,000 phones for the launch in China — which is a stark contrast to the Samsung Galaxy Fold launch of 700,000 units in South Korea.

We don’t know why Huawei is only launching that limited amount of units; we can only speculate. Perhaps the company is either not very confident about this first version, after seeing all the trouble Samsung has been going through. In fact, we know that the Fold is open for trouble due to the inherent fragility of its (fixed) design. (in fact, here’s proof that is still not fool proof.)

Or maybe Huawei just wants to lay low for a bit. At this price, with the potential pitfalls of a version 1.0 product, and without Google Apps, it’s hard to believe that many people would risk so much money for such a phone outside of the China market.

On the other hand, Samsung reportedly sold out of the first and second waves of Galaxy Folds, with some of them reaching double the foldable phone's original price in the aftermarket. That indicated some initial excitement from the early adopters but it is yet to be seen if the Korean company will be able to reach its target of 1 million Galaxy Fold units sold globally.

Maybe Huawei knows something about the Galaxy Fold demand that we don’t know about.

The 8-inch Mate X will use the latest Kirin 990 5G processor — instead of the original Kirin 980 we saw last February. (Huawei had suggested in September, it would release two different versions of the Mate X — one with 5G, one without — so that could also account for the lower-than-expected number of units the company's reportedly making.) Despite the CPU change, we expect the price to remain the same: about $2,600.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.