Tech

Huawei's foldable phone is finally going on sale in China while global launch remains 'under review'

Key Points
  • Huawei said Wednesday its Mate X foldable smartphone will go on sale in China November 15.
  • A Huawei spokesperson told CNBC the global launch plan for the Mate X is still "under review."
  • Huawei delayed the launch of the phone earlier this year to conduct extra tests.
Huawei's Mate X
Benjamin Hall | CNBC

Huawei's foldable smartphone will finally go for sale in China next month following months of delays, while the device's global launch remains "under review."

At a launch event in Shenzhen Wednesday, the Chinese tech giant said the Mate X would be available in China November 15 at a starting price of 16,999 yuan ($2,403).

The foldable 5G-enabled device, which was unveiled in February in Barcelona, had originally been slated to launch this summer. CNBC reported Huawei delayed the launch in June as it conducted extra tests after glitches were reported on Samsung's foldable device.

In a statement to CNBC Wednesday, a Huawei spokesperson said the company is still determining when the Mate X will be available outside of China.

"Our strategy is based on carriers' 5G roll out in different regions. So far, Huawei is making the Huawei Mate X available in the China market from November 15th. A global launch plan is under review," the spokesperson said.

Samsung and Huawei, the world's two biggest smartphone sellers, are trying to motivate consumers to upgrade their phones with a new category of foldable devices, but their price tags could prove to be a sticking point. Samsung's Galaxy Fold, which went on sale in September after months of delays, costs around $2000.

Huawei also said Wednesday it had shipped 200 million smartphones so far this year, a milestone it said it reached two months earlier than last year. Last week, the company reported its third-quarter revenue jumped 27% thanks to strong smartphone sales.

VIDEO3:3103:31
Foldable phones have arrived

The final quarter of the year will prove to be a big test for the Chinese tech giant when it comes to sales of its new Mate 30 smartphone. The Mate 30 series comes without pre-installed Google-licensed apps like Gmail and YouTube. Huawei has been unable to license the latest version of Android due to restrictions imposed by the U.S. on the Chinese firm.

U.S. officials, citing security concerns, placed Huawei on a so-called entity list in May that required American companies to get special licenses to sell their technology to the Chinese firm. Huawei denies that it is a security threat.

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