Huawei's folding 5G Mate X smartphone wants to be your tablet, too

By Bloomberg, February 25 2019
Huawei's folding 5G Mate X smartphone wants to be your tablet, too

Huawei has entered the 'folding phone fray' in an attempt to show that Samsung hasn't cornered the market on innovation, at least when it comes to the gadget de jour.

At first glance the 5G Mate X smartphone is a super-sized Android smartphone with a 6.6-inch display, which is just slightly bigger than Apple’s iPhone XS Max but noticeably larger than the 4.6 inches of Samsung's Galaxy Fold.

But when opened out, the Mate X becomes an 8-inch tablet – a trait which the Chinese communications conglomerate hopes will render obsolete the need to carry two separate devices.

“We’ve been working on this folding screen hinge for three years,” Huawei Consumer Group Chief Executive Officer Richard Yu said when launching the device at Barcelona's annual Mobile World Congress. “It’s very expensive, but there’s lots of new technology here.”

'Very expensive' is an honest observation: the Mate X, which also works with next-generation 5G networks, will cost €2,299 (A$3,660) when released mid-year.

The market for smartphones is slowing, and manufacturers are scrambling to find new ways to convince consumers they should upgrade their devices. Next-generation high-speed networks are still a far away from mainstream availability, so device makers are looking at new device form factors to conjure up excitement.

While Huawei has been battling global scrutiny over its telecom equipment, the company's rapid growth as a smartphone manufacturer is often overlooked. Last year it surpassed Apple to become the world’s second-largest maker of smartphones, according to data from market research firm IDC.

Thomas Husson, an analyst at Forrester, said the Mate X “shows Huawei is a leader in tech innovation.” But it will be “a few years” before a significant mass of customers get their hands on 5G functionalities and foldable screens, he said.

10 Jul 2017

Total posts 32

$3660 for a phone? can buy a high end laptop for less

28 Dec 2016

Total posts 71

Last time i looked no one on the street is holding up their 5g laptop to their ear to make a call?

Turkish Airlines - Miles & Smiles

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 265

But now you can fold it.... Duh

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Jun 2018

Total posts 4

Correct me if i'm wrong, I think samsung folder phone is less than $3660?

13 Apr 2018

Total posts 14

Wtf $3660 for a phone.. I shudder to think what Apple's version going to be.. $6k?

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

02 Jul 2018

Total posts 38

$3,660 and Huawei...thanks and no thanks.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 584

Whoever pays $3660 for a Huawei pretty much deserves to be spied on by the chinese government as punishment

03 May 2017

Total posts 22

people paid over $10,000 for the first PC's 30+ years ago. New technology always cost so much more.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jul 2017

Total posts 30

Completely agree with elchriss0, with H's management members of the Big Party all your details will be collected. Scary

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