At a smartphone launch event in China Huawei announced the imminent commercial availability of its Mate X foldy phone.
There doesn’t seem to have been much in the way of formal announcements and none in English that we can see. So we’re reliant on Huawei’s Weibo announcement and its Chinese consumer site, via the magic of Google Translate, as well as some reports, for confirmation that the Mate X will soon be seen in the wild.
Apparently it will go on sale on 15 November for 16,999 yuan, which is not far short of a couple of grand. Ten years ago that would have been a ridiculous proposition, but China has evolved so rapidly since then that it’s easy to imagine a few people dropping that kind of cash, if only for the status symbol value.
Since the foldy form factor is still very novel and untested, it makes sense for Huawei to only launch it in China, where it can presumably contain any damage from teething troubles more easily than anywhere else in the world. Samsung had to delay the launch of its foldy phone earlier this year after it broke in the hands of early reviewers.
Incidentally Huawei has also seen fit to send a press release announcing it has shipped 200 million smartphones already, two months earlier than last year. They didn’t really say anything else other than to conclude it must be because their phones are so great. The unspoken sub-text, however, is defiance towards the US and its allies but demonstrating Huawei is doing better than ever. Let’s see how things look this time next year.