Huawei: foldable smartphones will eventually cost less than current flagships

Huawei: foldable smartphones will eventually cost less than current flagships
In a recent interview with German publication De Welt, Huawei’s CEO Richard Yu sat down to talk about the future of its smartphone business and how it will respond to certain scenarios.

As many of you may know, the Huawei Mate X was recently announced as the brand’s first foldable smartphone. This, the CEO believes, will “significantly impact the smartphone market” over the coming years, primarily because many companies will “imitate” this take on the new form factor. 

Once released, the Huawei Mate X will carry a price tag of €2300 ($2585) in Europe. This makes the technology inaccessible to most consumers but won’t always be the case. As foldable devices become more popular, Huawei hopes to gradually decrease the price over time. This will eventually allow the company to sell them below €1000 ($1125) and possibly even below €500 ($562), although the timeline of these advancements depends largely on the market’s interest in the tech.

Huawei’s CEO also found time to take a quick dig at Apple, stating that a foldable iPhone “certainly” won’t launch this year. In fact, Richard Yu personally believes a foldable offering from Apple next year will likely be “difficult” too.

In terms of what can be expected from Huawei’s own devices in the near future, the CEO revealed cameras will continue to get “better.” Similarly, battery life “will get longer and the batteries will charge faster.” Artificial intelligence is expected to play a key role in the future too.

Unsurprisingly, Huawei also touted the benefits of 5G networks. More specifically, the increase in speed and how that will allow for artificial intelligence “in real time.” The next-gen networks will also create shifts in the mobile industry. Huawei, for one, believes it’ll be the largest smartphone manufacturer by next year “at the latest.”

Despite Huawei’s optimism, the company’s inability to sell smartphones in the US due to spying allegations is holding it back a little and means the brand isn’t growing as fast as it could theoretically be. 

During the interview, Richard Yu was also asked about whether it’s wise to depend so heavily on US companies for elements such as the operating system. He responded stating that they “prefer” this arrangement but do have a plan b. 

If for whatever reason Huawei ever loses access to Android or Windows 10, the company will quickly implement an operating system of its own that has already been developed and will be compatible with the company’s smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

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6 Comments

1. shm224

Posts: 288; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

My bet is that Huawei's foldable supplier, BOE, would fail to deliver and there would be no foldable phone until 2020. When it's released, it would be half-baked and discontinued soon after its release. A final usuable product would be released in 2021 with foldables made by Samsung Displays. Apple is in no hurry and Apple's customers aren't the most technically savvy folks looking for cutting-edge stuff. Considering how long Apple had waited for its first AMOLED phone, almost 10 years, I'm willing to bet that Apple's foldable, aka, Samsung foldable displays, won't be available until 2012 or so.

2. midan

Posts: 2749; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

"Apple is in no hurry and Apple's customers aren't the most technically savvy folks looking for cutting-edge stuff." Knowing how big hit iPad was right away i would disagree. I remember it was android people who said what's the point, you already have phone and laptop.. We Apple users saw the big potential with iPad right away and after that hundred of millions tablets been sold. Lot of us are tech savy and looking for cutting-edge stuff, but it has to be usable and bring real value. For example i'm very interested to see that huawei 8x zoom. If it's done right it will be game changer for mobile photography. I'm also very interested to see this huawei mate X in real life, i wouldn't never buy it because i don't see need for device like this in current state and maybe never, but time will tell.

4. shm224

Posts: 288; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Not sure what point you are making with iPad here. Every major players in the computer industry, from Compaq, to Dell, to MS, to Sony, to Apple were developing their own tablets, even before Amazon swept the US market in 2007. To say that, or "android people," didn't see the potential or utility is a bit asinine, especially after Amazon had already popularized the tablet market with its Kindle. Sure, Apple's customers are not the most technically sophisticated folks looking for cutting edge stuff. Their purchasing decision likewise is driven by aesthetics and usability; not necessarily by functionality or technical novelty. Nothing wrong with that. As Tim Cook once said, or to paraphrase, Apple is all about being best -- whatever it means -- not first. I'm pretty sure Apple would produce their own foldables that would please certain customers, but that would come only after pioneers like Samsung takes financial and engineering risks to advance such tech to consumers.

5. midan

Posts: 2749; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

"especially after Amazon had already popularized the tablet market with its Kindle." :D

3. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 679; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

This is a lie.

6. drazwy

Posts: 354; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

HAHAHAH! No they won't. We have't seen a drop in cost for any flagships. infact, the cost has grown exponentially. Foldables will continue this trend most certainly.

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