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Huawei challenges Samsung with new foldable smartphone

By Han Baoyi in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-02-26 04:14

A robot kicks a soccer ball inside a Huawei booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday. [Photo/Agencies]

Industry insiders are optimistic about the potential sales of Mate X, launched by Huawei on the first day of this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Professor Alan Barrell, director of studies in Cambridge Innovation Academy, whose current work is focused heavily on the commercialization of research, technology start-ups and the development of UK-China Trade said the Mate X is superior to its rivals.

“I believe Huawei is well ahead with 5G due to intensive R and D investment and has excellent technology, this makes competitors fearful,” said Barrell.

“It also causes concern about possible dependence on a single source of crucial technology. This would be a concern whatever country a dominant leader is in.”

The Mate X, priced at 2,299 euros ($2,606), comes with a built-in 5G modem and is capable of downloading a one gigabyte movie in as little as three seconds if a fast enough connection is available, said Huawei.

There was much excitement at the venue in Barcelona as Huawei finally unveiled its much anticipated folding phone, which has been three years in development.

“This phone is not only for today for 5G but also for future 5G. On all the benchmarks you can see the performance, the speed is the fastest for 5G in the world,” said Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group.

The BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones said the firm was determined, “in a confident, even arrogant press conference,” to convey that it's now the leading innovator in smartphones.

The Mate X is set to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, which was announced less than a week before.

“They made some interesting design choices that not only make the Mate X look different, but in many eyes better than Samsung,” Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies told CNET, a leading website for tech product news.

When unfolded, the Mate X screen is larger than that of a Samsung Galaxy Fold, and thinner than its rival when closed.

“Depending on how competitors such as Samsung respond – Huawei might become more dominant,” Barrell said, adding that, in his opinion, sales of the new Huawei smartphone will be “brilliant in Asia.”

“I suspect that the Apple market share – especially in the West is more secure. Apple brand and loyalty is strong in the west, but pricing is high. For sure Huawei will make more inroads to Apple business in China with the new foldable mobile,” he added.

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