BUSINESS China’s Huawei challenges Samsung with latest foldable 5G smartphone


China’s Huawei challenges Samsung with latest foldable 5G smartphone

Global Times

04:25, February 25, 2019


Huawei Mate X is claimed to be the world's fastest foldable 5G smartphone. (Photo: Courtesy of Huawei)

5G is now. 5G is on. China's tech giant Huawei unveiled the world's fastest foldable 5G smartphone on Sunday in Barcelona, Spain, ahead of the Mobile World Congress 2019 (MWC19), signaling the beginning of the 5G smartphone race. 

Huawei Mate X is empowered by Balong 5000, the company's first 5G modem and Kirin 980, offering an affordable full view display. 

This latest gadget does not have any notches or gaps when folded, and industry experts have already it is the most promising foldable phone released so far. 

"It is equipped with the world's first 7nm multi-modem chipset, which also supports both standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) networks," said Huawei CEO Richard Yu Chengdong during the launch event. 

SA and NSA are two 5G-architecture standards. With a faster speed, the 5G smartphone can download a one-gigabyte film in three seconds. 

Compared to Samsung's foldable 5G smartphone, the Huawei Mate X is slimmer and supports both SA and NSA networks, James Yan, research director of market consultancy Counterpoint Research, told the Global Times.


Richard Yu Chengdong, head of Huawei's consumer business group, unveils Huawei Mate X ahead of MWC19 on Sunday in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo: Courtesy of Huawei)

"Huawei's product is also developed based on its chipset, which could  soon be commercialized, but others are dependent on Qualcomm's agenda for commercialization," Yan said. 

The Huawei Mate X should be available to the public in June. It will enjoy significant sales numbers for 2019, analysts have forecasted. 

"More significantly, the Chinese smartphone vendor plays an important role in leading innovation compared to its foreign rivals, which will also help the ecosystem grow," Yan explained.

Some foreign consumers said they are excited about this latest gadget, as some will choose Huawei over Samsung. 

"It is beautiful, and I think it is the future of this business," Bernard Bocian, who works for an electronics company in Poland, told the Global Times. "It will be the new leader of this market," he said. 

2019 will be a crucial year for Samsung and Huawei, two of the world's largest smartphone manufactures as they will go to head-to-head while gaining greater market share. 

Yu announced Huawei's intention to become the world's number one smartphone maker and expects to surpass Samsung by 2020, according to media reports. 

"The release of Huawei Mate X signals the big race for 5G commercialization, which will also boost the deployment of 5G networks," Xiang Ligang, chief executive of telecom industry news site, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

In recent years, Huawei has quickly caught up with Samsung in the smartphone arena, challenging the lead that has been held by the South Korean vendor. 

"It will be more urgent for Samsung to hold up its shares in the US market, as it is losing territory to Huawei in China and Europe," the analyst said. 

This latest smartphone has super-battery charging capabilities, as 85 percent can be charged within 30 minutes, and all for a retail price of 2,299 euros ($2,600).

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