Huawei is delaying sales of $2600 foldable mobile until September. TAIPEI — On Friday, Huawei Technologies said it delayed the release of its foldable smartphone by several months, a few days after the launch of a fresh laptop was shelved by the world’s second-largest phone manufacturer.
The firm revealed to the Nikkei Asian Review that the Huawei Mate X, which made a splash in the sector when it was launched in February, will now go on sale in September rather than mid-2019 as initially scheduled.
The delay contributes to Huawei’s problems as it was put on a blacklist of U.S. technology in May. It also raises doubts about foldable phones ‘ market readiness, which the sector hopes will boost development in worldwide smartphone sales, analysts said.
A Huawei spokesperson said there was a need for more testing before the foldable phone could be released, and the postponement was not related to the U.S. restrictions on access to American technology by the company.
But the leadership of Huawei recognizes the increasing difficulties facing the business of the company.
Shao Yang, Huawei’s consumer business group’s Chief Strategy Officer, said in a speech at a CES Asia case on Tuesday that the firm will not be able to achieve its goal of overtaking Samsung Electronics as the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer by the end of this year.
Richard Yu, CEO of the consumer electronics group at Huawei, informed CNBC this week that because of the U.S. blacklisting, Huawei required to cancel the launch of the new Matebook laptop.
Chiu Shih-fang, a Taiwan Institute of Economic Research smartphone and supply chain analyst, defined the back-to-back delays as “serious setbacks to Huawei’s ambition to become a major worldwide consumer electronics brand.”
“It’s very probable that this year Huawei will miss all of its inner objectives, especially its foreign aspirations,” Chiu said. “But we don’t understand how much it’s going to lag behind its goals and how poor things are.”
This year, Huawei set a target of shipping 250 million to 260 million smartphones and also seeks to triple the size of its up-and-coming notebook business.
But the Chinese firm has begun to cancel or substantially downgrade orders to important providers of components, a sign that the U.S. blacklist may start hurting the leading Chinese technology group, first reported by the Nikkei Asian Review.
Samsung, the other firm that launched this year’s foldable smartphone, said it would halt its Galaxy Fold’s official launch in April, citing a need for further improvements.
With worldwide smartphone shipments forecast to drop in 2019 for a third consecutive year, Samsung and Huawei’s launch delays send a conservative message to their colleagues at a moment when some in the sector see the latest technology as transformative and capable of reviving the curiosity of customers, a market watcher said.
“This demonstrates that foldable smartphones are immature,” Chiu said of TIER. “Other smartphone manufacturers, such as Xiaomi and Oppo, are anticipated to postpone their aspirations after seeing what Samsung and Huawei did.”
“For the second half of this year, we now have a rather pessimistic perspective of the smartphone sector,” she said. “There is little expectation of fresh smartphone characteristics to boost revenues in addition to the uncertain worldwide economic outlook in the midst of trade wars.”