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Huawei delays the launch of its $2,600 foldable smartphone

Published : Saturday, 15 June, 2019 at 10:20 PM  Count : 239

Huawei delays the launch of its $2,600 foldable smartphone

Huawei delays the launch of its $2,600 foldable smartphone


Huawei has delayed the launch of its $2,600 Mate X by three months in order to carry out further tests of the foldable smartphone.

The Chinese tech company now plans to release the Mate X in September, according to Glenn Schloss, a vice president of corporate communications at Huawei. The launch had been expected in June.

Huawei unveiled the highly-anticipated phone in February to huge fanfare during a mobile industry event in Barcelona, CNN reports.

Rival smartphone maker Samsung has also delayed the launch of its $1,980 Galaxy Fold after some reviewers reported the device was breaking. They experienced defective hinges and broken screens.

Huawei, the world's largest telecoms equipment maker and No. 2 smartphone brand, faces a unique set of problems.

The US Commerce Department placed Huawei on a trade blacklist last month, barring American firms from selling tech to the company. That would cut Huawei off from key suppliers like Google (GOOGL) and Micron (MICR).

Whether Huawei's foldable phone will run Google's Android operating system is "under discussion," said Schloss.

The US export ban is part of a broader US campaign against Huawei.

Washington says that Huawei presents a national security risk, and that Beijing could use its equipment to spy on other nations. Huawei has repeatedly denied that any of its products pose such a risk.

A temporary reprieve from the US Commerce Department allows American companies to continue to supply Huawei with software and components to service existing networks until August.

But the US trade blacklist has already started to affect Huawei's smartphone business.

A company executive said this week that Huawei no longer aspires to overtake Samsung to become the No. 1 smartphone seller by the end of the year.  



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Boeing said Thursday it is booking a $4.9 billion charge to cover possible compensation to airlines that have canceled thousands of flights since the 737 Max jet was grounded after two deadly accidents. The airplane builder also said the Max-related fallout will cut $5.6 billion from its revenue and pre-tax earnings in the April-through-June quarter. The Chicago-based company said the calculations were based on an assumption that regulatory approval for the plane's return to flying will begin early in the fourth quarter. That timing is earlier than some analysts expected and may have contributed to a rally in Boeing shares in after-hours trading. Boeing is scheduled to report its quarterly results next week. Boeing also raised its estimate of Max production costs by $1.7 billion because output will be curtailed longer than expected. Boeing is still working on fixing flight-control software that appeared to play a role in crashes that killed 346 people off the coast of Indonesia and in Ethiopia. In March, regulators grounded the Boeing 737 Max and the company suspended deliveries of new jets. The $4.9 billion charge does not include amounts that Boeing may pay in the dozens of lawsuits filed by families of crash victims. Boeing this week hired a victims-compensation expert to oversee a $50 million relief fund for families, which the company said was separate from the lawsuits. The $5.6 billion hit to pre-tax earnings is more than half of Boeing's $10.5 billion profit for all of 2018. "The Max grounding presents significant headwinds and the financial impact recognized this quarter reflects the current challenges and helps to address future financial risks," Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement. CFRA Research analyst Jim Corridore said putting a figure on airline compensation and the potential return of the plane in the fourth quarter provided important clarity around the damage inflicted by the grounding. "We expected a large charge, and this is in the order of magnitude we were expecting," he said. "In general, we are happy to have some details." The plane's return has been pushed back several times, most recently after Federal Aviation Administration pilots found a new flaw while testing Boeing software changes in a flight simulator. That discovery prompted Boeing to say in late June that it expected to present its proposed fix to the FAA "in the September timeframe." It would likely take several more weeks for the FAA and other regulators to approve Boeing's work, give pilots additional training, and bring long-parked jets up to flying condition. Boeing says concessions to airlines will be spread over several years but it is taking the entire estimated expense as a charge in the second quarter. Boeing did not specify what form the compensation would take, but hinted that it would not be entirely in cash. Despite the grounding, Boeing has kept building Max jets, although at a reduced rate of 42 per month, down from 52, since April. The company said Thursday that it assumed it can raise production gradually to 57 per month in 2020. Boeing has delivered fewer than 400 Max planes but has unfilled orders for about 4,500. Shares of Boeing Co. rose $7.54, or 2.1%, to $368.65 during after-hours trading. Before the announcement, they fell $8.41 to end regular trading at $361.11.
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