Called the Mate X, Huawei unveiled its latest addition to the innovative cell-phone market place, further challenging market leaders Samsung of Korea and Apple of the USA. China’s powerhouse tech company introduced its phone immediately before the beginning of the four-day Mobile World Conference 2019, in Barcelona.
The phone is compatible with superfast, next-generation 5G networks, expected to replace older and slower networks over the next few years. The phone also folds in half, an innovation that the industry is hoping will get phones out of the current creativity slump. Others believe the market for folding phones is limited, at least in the near future.
The Mate X is Huawei’s solution to the problem of bigger screens and longer battery life. Richard Yu, head of the company’s consumer business group asked at a fancy media launch party,
“How can we bring bigger innovation to this smartphone industry?”
The phone won’t be available for purchase for another few months and will cost about 2,299 Euros ($2600.) Samsung’s Galaxy Fold sells for almost $2000.
Users of the Mate X can still view it even when its closed, as the phone’s screen wraps around the outside. The Galaxy Fold’s screen closes shut and cannot be viewed unless its open. When open the Mate X is 8 inches on the diagonal, about the same size as a smaller tablet.
Huawei developers took three years just on the phone’s hinge, which does not leave a space when the phone is closed.
“No matter how innovative and technology-advanced the new device is, it will take a lot more time for a critical mass of consumers to experience the benefits of foldable phones and 5G technology,” one analyst said. Huawei still “has to find its own brand voice to differentiate from Samsung and Apple and stop acting as a technology challenger,” he added.