Samsung has long been rumored to be making a folding phone, currently known as the Samsung Galaxy X, and it looks like the handset might land in the first half of 2019, yet we might get a folding phone from Huawei even sooner.
According to “analysts and industry sources familiar with the matter”, speaking to Nikkei (opens in new tab), Huawei has partnered with panel supplier BOE (a company which also supplies components to Apple) to launch the handset in very early 2019.
The aim seems to be getting to market first, rather than delivering a polished product or even making a profit, and if you were hoping to be able to buy Huawei’s folding phone you’ll probably be out of luck.
While there’s no news on where the handset will be sold it will apparently be very limited in numbers, with potentially only 20,000 or 30,000 units being made.
First, not best
The goal is apparently to demonstrate the technology and attract media attention, and Jeff Pu, an analyst at Yuanta Investment Consulting, said "the Chinese company wants to be the first in the industry even if the display technology from its panel supplier might not be that ready like Samsung."
So in other words, while Huawei might be first its phone probably won’t be as good as the Galaxy X.
That said, Huawei seemingly isn’t completely ignoring the need for a quality device, as another source claimed the launch date will depend on the development of the technology and the durability of the panels, so Huawei might not be first after all if that holds the company up.