Huawei may start to sell its foldable phone as soon as next month, said CEO Richard Yu in a briefing at IFA on Friday. Yu said he'd hoped the phone would be on sale already, but because of the rollout of 5G and the need to give app developers time to adapt their apps to the new screen size, it has taken longer than expected.
A report that came out last month suggested that the Mate X, but if Yu has his way, it could go on sale in October.
"Maybe next month we can start to sell it globally," he said on Friday. "The manufacturing of this phone is not only very expensive but has some challenges for volume and mass production." Yu said Huawei may even incorporate its newchip, which was also announced Friday, into the device. It would be possible to do this as the chip is already commercially available, he said.
The phone, which made its first appearance at MWC in Barcelona in February, serves as the main competitor to Samsung's Galaxy Note Fold. After some issues with the screen forced Samsung to delay its release, the company announced at IFA that it would be available in South Korea from Friday and start arriving in other countries from Sept. 18.
Unlike the Fold, which opens like a book to reveal a bendable screen on the inside, the Mate X has its screen curved around the exterior. This means you only need open it up when you want to fold out the full tablet-sized display, rather than every single time you use it. Our initial hands-on time with the device left us impressed -- keep your eyes on CNET for a full review as soon the phone goes on sale.