Huawei launches $3655 foldable 5G phone the Mate X to rival Samsung

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.

But they come at a cost. Huawei’s 2299-euro price tag is only slightly steeper than Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, which will cost 2000 euros when it’s released this year.

With premium mobile phones already costing well over $US1000 ($1400) a piece, customers have been turning to cheaper alternatives, often made by lesser-known companies.

Huawei has been battling global scrutiny over its telecom equipment, but often overlooked is the company’s rapid growth as a smartphone manufacturer.

Last year it surpassed Apple to become the world’s second-largest maker of smartphones, according to data from market research firm IDC.

When folded, the Mate X has a 6.6-inch display, which is just slightly larger than Apple ‘s iPhone XS Max.

But when opened out, Huawei’s device becomes an 8-inch tablet computer.


When opened out, Huawei’s device becomes an 8-inch tablet computer.  STEFAN WERMUTH

It runs on Alphabet-owned Google’s Android operating system.

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.


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