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Huawei’s striking P50 smartphone exists, but the company can’t launch it yet

Huawei has teased the Huawei P50 smartphone series, but it is not in a position to provide a launch date for the phone yet. The phone was briefly previewed at the end of Huawei’s “Live Smart With Huawei” event streamed online on June 2, where the first major release of HarmonyOS was detailed, along with new products running the software including the Huawei Watch 3.

Moments before the event ended, Huawei Business Group CEO Richard Yu said, “Consumers around the globe have been looking forward to our next flagship smartphone,” before playing a brief teaser video showing the Huawei P50’s unique design. It’s close to some of the rumors about the phone which have appeared over the last few months, with striking dual circular camera modules on the back. The top module contains three cameras, and the lower module has one, along with a flash unit.

Nothing was said about the specifications, but the phone was described as having an ultra-thin, lightweight body with “iconic design language.” The camera, which has Leica branding on it indicating it has been co-developed with Huawei’s long-time photographic partner, “lifts mobile photography to a new level,” according to Yu. However, just because the phone was teased, doesn’t mean it came with news of an impending release. Yu said:

“For reasons you are all aware [referring to the U.S. government restrictions on Huawei] a launch date has not been set, but we are trying to figure out how to make this great product available to you.”

Huawei’s last P-series phone launch came at the beginning of 2020. The P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus run Google Android, but do not come with any Google Services onboard, including the Google Play Store. The P50 is highly unlikely to run Android, and will almost certainly have Huawei’s HarmonyOS onboard, even globally. However, launch delays are likely being caused by component supply problems, rather than software.

The Huawei P50 series is “official,” but exactly when, or even if, it will launch remains unknown. Huawei’s admission it can’t launch the P50 series yet is refreshingly honest and open, and evidence of how much restrictions continue to affect its smartphone business.

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