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.
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.