Speculations as to whether or not Huawei will release a “truly foldable” smartphone have been surfacing for years now but a launch date may be near. According to Korean news outlet ETNews, sources close to the matter claim the company is planning on unveiling the device in November.
But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be available for purchase following its launch. Huawei is reportedly going to wait for feedback on the device, which it will then apply to the smartphone before releasing it to consumers.
CNET reported that Huawei was working on a foldable smartphone for 2018 in October. Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, said that the company already had a workable prototype, but stressed the need for better design and innovation.
ZTE kicked things off with the Atom M, which featured two screens connected by a hinge. The device was certainly an interesting one, but we found it lacking in comparison to the more traditional, and much cheaper, Axon 7.
But Huawei isn’t the only company seeking to enter the market. Samsung is hoping to release a bendable smartphone this year. Samsung’s device, which appears to feature a single flexible screen, is more in line with the rumors and patients regarding foldable phones. As for Huawei, it remains to be seen whether its device will be closer to Samsung or ZTE’s.
In March CNBC reported the next major redesign of the iPhone might also be foldable. According to the report, Apple may already be working with suppliers to create the new smartphone but it’s not set to be released until 2020. The device could potentially fold out to be used like an iPad.
Edge-to-edge displays were the defining trend of smartphone design in last year — first appearing on the Samsung Galaxy S8, and later incorporated into the iPhone X and numerous other smartphones. But as pretty as these screens look, it is possible foldable smartphones will start to become popular among smartphone manufacturers.
While a foldable design may seem a bit strange, it could offer more benefits than current touch-screen smartphones on the market. This includes a larger display, as well as having the ability to fold it into more compact shapes — making it easier to carry.
Updated on April 13: Huawei is reportedly set to launch a foldable smartphone in November.
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