The Huawei Mate 50 smartphone series was officially launched in China on September 21, and the devices are now highly sought after at offline stores in Shanghai and Guangzhou. Supply is tight at present, making it difficult to meet the demand of all consumers, according to a report by Chinese media outlet Time Weekly.
“If an order is placed now, you can get [the smartphone] around November or January of next year. Consumers need to wait,” said a salesperson at an authorized Huawei store in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province on September 21. “At present, all Huawei Mate 50 series Kunlun Glass versions are out of stock here at our store, and the model currently doesn’t support booking,” said a staff member at Huawei’s offline flagship store in Shanghai on the same day.
The supply shortage of Huawei’s new products is giving scalpers an opening. Near the entrances of offline stores, there are many such opportunists who have bought smartphones in advance, looking to sell them at increased prices.
If one wants to buy a new Huawei smartphone from a scalper, a 256GB Huawei Mate 50 will cost the normal retail price plus 500 yuan ($70). The Mate 50 512GB version and Mate 50 Pro 256GB version will cost 1,000 yuan more than the standard price, while the price of the Mate 50 Pro 512GB version will be higher by 1,500 yuan. In addition, prices of different models of the Kunlun Glass version will be increased by 2,000 yuan to 3,000 yuan, while the Porsche co-branded version will be higher by 6,000 yuan.
Huawei had not released a new high-end flagship smartphone for two years because it was unable to produce its own chips under sanctions imposed by the US Department of Commerce. The Mate series is Huawei’s flagship business series. After being sanctioned, the last two Huawei high-end smartphone models equipped with Huawei’s Kirin chips are the Mate 40 series and the Mate X2. Since then, Huawei has released the P50 series and foldable smartphone Pocket with Snapdragon 4G chips specially supplied by Qualcomm. The Mate 50 series released this time mainly also adopts the 4G version of Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ chips.
Apple also announced new products this month, bringing the two leading brands into a head-on battle. China has now become the second-largest high-end smartphone market in the world, and many smartphone manufacturers are competing. In this battle, Apple has a leading position, several Chinese manufacturers are pressing hard, and Huawei is trying to regain its lost share.
The Huawei Mate 50 series is still favored by many consumers. In terms of software, these devices are equipped with the latest HarmonyOS 3.0 operating system, which was upgraded earlier this year. According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the number of installed devices of Huawei HarmonyOS has exceeded 300 million units.
Yuan Bo, a senior engineer and strategic planning expert in the telecommunications industry, told Time Weekly that technology is an important feature for consumers when buying a high-end product. “The Huawei Mate 50 series is selling well, which means that Huawei still occupies an important position in the hearts of Chinese consumers,” said Yuan. “It is still the representative Chinese high-end smartphone brand and enjoys high market recognition.” The new devices’ satellite communication technology and self-developed imaging system XMAGE represent Huawei’s technological innovation strength, and consumers are willing to pay for Huawei’s technology R&D investment.