Samsung’s foldable smartphone has been rumored for a long time, and the long anticipated smartphone could steal the spotlight in 2018. The phone was originally rumored to be called the Galaxy X, although it’s likely that it’ll be called the Galaxy F. However, according to a new report it is possible that we will see an Huawei foldable phone before Samsung’s Galaxy F debuts.
While there is no official foldable smartphone on the market at the moment, there is the ZTE Axon M model that quite approached it, and in fact, has begun the “foldable smartphone era.” However, it’s not a real foldable phone because it consists of two smartphone displays that is combined with a hinge. Nevertheless, the world is waiting for a phone that can fold itself, and at this point we thought that Samsung would be the first, given the ongoing rumors for the last two years.
Huawei trying to beat Samsung
It’s no secret that Huawei is trying to get to the top of the market. After all, over the past years the Chinese company vastly improved its strategy, bringing better phones that are becoming more available around the world and slowly but steadily approaching Samsung and Apple with its P and Mate series.
Huawei doesn’t intend to stop its intentions, as a report by Nikkei Asian Review reveals. According to the report Huawei is about to collaborate with a local display supplier called BOE, in order to design an adjustable and flexible OLED screen that would be able to go inside the Huawei foldable phone.
Huawei would plan to release a limited amount of handsets to see how it goes in the world market. Nevertheless, Huawei, followed by BOE, wants to beat Samsung and get ahead of the South Korean tech giant in the market.
“Huawei’s planned volume could be limited to some 20,000 to 30,000 units, or even less, for a small group of first-wave adopters,” the report quoted its source. “The effort is mainly to demonstrate its technological capability and to attract the industry’s attention and media coverage.”
Early next year
Similarly to Samsung, it is expected that the Huawei foldable phone will debut in “very early 2019,” Yuanta Investment Consulting analyst Jeff Pu said, per the report.
“The Chinese company wants to be the first in the industry even if the display technology from its panel supplier might not be that ready like Samsung,” he added.
The reason the launch date is not certain yet is likely because it highly depends on how fast the development process goes. The company will also need to test how durable the foldable panels are before it can be sure that it can market the phones.
The report also notes that BOE also has been trying to catch Apple’s attention by creating OLED display manufacturing plants. The report also notes the fact that Huawei can work more easily with a local manufacturer and that it’s not likely that Samsung would provide the OLED panels to one of its biggest rivals in the smartphone industry.
The report, however, doesn’t reveal more details about the Huawei foldable phone such as other features or price details. However, WitsView analyst explained that Huawei wouldn’t work on this project for profit, but rather to grab the spotlight or take it away from another company.
“Profitability for this project is not the first priority for the two Chinese companies,” Eric Chiou said.
While the specifications of the rumored smartphone are top secret, it’s safe to assume that the smartphone would offer top-notch hardware and features, given that this is likely the biggest project Huawei would attempt to realize.
Right now, Huawei is the world’s third-largest handset manufacturer, running behind Apple. However, given the statement from July 19 from the South China Morning Post, the Chinese company shipped out 100 million phones until July 18, according to mobile segment chief Richard Yu Chengdong.
“Previously Huawei reached the 100 million shipments mark on December 22, 2015, October 14, 2016 and September 12, 2017. As it’s only taken just over six months to reach the target this year, we are now aiming for shipments of 200 million units by the end of 2018,” Yu said during a new product launch.
Huawei is calculating its mobile shipment by combining the smartphones from its two popular brands Huawei and Honor. As the report notes, both Samsung and Apple have reported declines in shipping of 2.4% and 2.8% respectively during the first quarter of this year. On the other hand, Huawei managed to ship 39.3 million smartphones during the first three months, approaching Apple’s 52.2 million during the same time period.
Whether Huawei’s and BOE’s collaboration will lead to a new Huawei foldable phone, we’ll have to see in the future. Still, take the time to check out the concept of the foldable phone by BOE.