Huawei’s next flagship phone, the P50, is set for launch on July 29th, the company has announced. Writing on his own Weibo page, Huawei consumer group CEO Richard Yu said (via Google translate) that the phone would mark the beginning of “a new era of mobile imaging,” suggesting that Huawei may once again make cameras the focus of its upcoming flagship.
The launch comes a little over a year since Huawei announced its P40 series, but the launch of the P50 has been far from certain. US sanctions placed on the company over national security concerns have seriously impacted Huawei’s ability to produce its own Kirin chipsets, creating doubts about its ability to release new flagship devices. “For reasons you are all aware of, a launch date has not been set,” Yu said when he teased the design of the P50 during a launch event last month.
These chip challenges, combined with sanctions that mean Huawei can no longer preinstall Google’s apps and services on its devices, have eroded Huawei’s market share. Globally it failed to rank in the top five smartphone vendors in the second quarter of this year (after being the biggest in the same quarter the previous year), and even domestically in China Oppo overtook it to become the country’s most popular smartphone brand in January.