Three months after it indefinitely delayed the device, Samsung finally announced a revised September release date for the Galaxy Fold on Wednesday. As well as putting it in line to potentially compete with Apple’s 2019 iPhone models, releasing it in September also means Samsung’s foldable will have to more directly compete with Huawei’s Mate X. Huawei’s take on the foldable smartphone also broke cover this week after being spotted in the hands of Huawei consumer business CEO Richard Yu at the Shenzhen International Airport, according to a Weibo post spotted by Gizchina.
Although Yu was reportedly reluctant to reveal any details about when Huawei’s competing foldable will launch, the last official word from the company was that the phone is due to launch in September, the same month as Samsung. Huawei originally announced this revised release date when it delayed the device back in June.
However, while Samsung needed to delay its device to fix some pretty critical reliability issues with the Fold’s screen, Huawei’s reasons were less publicly visible. At the time, the Chinese company said it was taking a “cautious” approach to the release of the Mate X and that it was doing extensive testing to make sure it was ready for consumers.
It’s not clear what, if any, tweaks have been made to its design as a result of this testing. One journalist who got to hold the Mate X in June said the company had made “significant progress” on the device since MWC in February, but a Huawei executive told TechRadar that the hardware was “basically the same” as what had been shown off earlier in the year.
Recent reports suggest that we might not have long to wait until the Mate X releases. In the same briefing with TechRadar, the executive indicated that the foldable will release in September “at the latest,” while a recent registration on China’s TENNA, spotted by Gizmochina, suggests that the device is nearing a release in the country.
Although its foldable hasn’t caused the same publicity nightmare as the Galaxy Fold, Huawei’s Mate X could still face difficulties. Not only is the Mate X not going to be released in the US like Huawei’s other phones, but Huawei’s continued presence on the US Entity List means that its use of Android is still in question. Huawei told CNBC that the Mate X will be allowed to use Android because it was announced before the ban, but with the company’s license due to expire on August 19th, it’s unclear what the situation with its OS will be.