Barcelona, Spain, Feb 25 – Huawei has unveiled what it claims is the world’s fastest 5G foldable phone at the Mobile World Congress in Spain.
Huawei X was launched on Sunday, just four days after rival Samsung became the first major handset maker to offer the feature.
The phone will be compatible with the new fifth-generation wireless networks which are starting to be installed around the world, said Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group.
“Our engineers worked on this screen for over three years,” he said at an event to present the new phone in Barcelona ahead of the start of the four-day Mobile World Congress trade fair in the Spanish city on Monday.
The phone will be available in mid-2019 and has a price tag of $2,600 (Sh260,000).
Yu acknowledged the price was “very expensive” but said the company was working to lower it.
The Mate X’s display can fold back on itself to become a 6.6-inch display, slightly bigger than the screen on the foldable phone which Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone seller, unveiled on Wednesday in San Francisco.
Several other smaller companies are rumoured to present their first foldable phones at the trade fair in Barcelona this week.
Handset makers are looking to folding screens to reverse falling smartphone sales as consumers hold on to their devices longer due to a lack of innovations, but analysts predict the market for the feature will be limited, at least in the early days.
Huawei, the world’s second biggest smartphone maker ahead of Apple, sold 206 million smartphones in 2018, compared to just over 150 million in the previous year, Yu said.
When folded, the device is a huge display smartphone with a 6.6-inch screen, and when opened, it turns into a slim tablet with an 8-inch screen. The new multi-form factor revolutionizes both productivity and entertainment experiences on a mobile device.
At MWC 2019, Huawei launched a series of new products, including the updated HUAWEI MateBook X Pro, new mainstream notebook PCs HUAWEI MateBook 13 and HUAWEI MateBook 14, as well as the HUAWEI 5G CPE Pro. At the advent of the 5G era, Huawei is committed to delivering new all-scenario smart living experiences to consumers.