While it’s true that Huawei’s ongoing dispute with American authorities means that it doesn’t currently have access to the Google Play store – which hampers its phone’s software experience for many – there can be no question about the quality of its hardware.
When will the Huawei P50 be released?
For the past few years, Huawei has kept a regular release cycle, with the P20, P30 and P40 lines all announced at the end of March and released a week or so later. Among other things, tipster @RODENT950 on Twitter cited an original arrival time for the P50 line between 26 March and 28 March, right at the tail end of the month.
Since then, the same leaker has tipped that the phones will feature a new Sony camera sensor, which was unveiled in April (more on that below) – confirming a delayed launch.
One evolving aspect to the P50 line’s release is potential scarcity, with reports from both Nikkei Asian Review and China Securities Journal suggesting that Huawei has placed significantly smaller orders for components for its 2021 smart devices.
NAR has learnt that Huawei has apparently informed its suppliers that its smartphone component orders may be reduced by as much as 60% this year; ordering enough parts to manufacture between 70 million and 80 million smartphones, down from 189 million in 2020 and 240 million in 2019 (as cited by TechRadar).
CSJ also suggests that the manufacture and delivery of Huawei’s devices could suffer from delays this year as well, however, new a new report from Chinese site Zol suggests that, while the P50 series is indeed delayed, the reason for this isn’t a manufacturing or supply problem but rather a software issue; stemming from the company’s own HarmonyOS, which we dive into more on later in this piece.
And, in case you were wondering, it’s thought this shift all stems from the ongoing effects of the US entity list, which so far hasn’t been altered under the Biden administration.
In the final moments of its 2 June HarmonyOS launch event, Huawei actually teased the P50 Series, showcasing the image at the top of this piece following it with “for reasons you are aware of, a launch date has not yet been set, but we are trying to figure out how to make this great product available to you.” This suggests that perhaps even Huawei is unsure of when consumers will be able to get hands-on their next flagship phone.
Later in June, Weibo user @TechnologyIsInteresting deciphered a binary code that suggested the series will debut on 29 July.
We discuss the ramifications of HarmonyOS and its relationship with the P50 series in episode 68 of our weekly podcast, Fast Charge: