Chinese tech firm Huawei will reportedly start receiving preorders for its first foldable smartphone Mate X from Oct. 23 in China, posing a challenge against its South Korean rival Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Fold, which was launched last month.
The device will be officially released on Nov. 11, according to news reports. Only 300,000 units of the Mate X are expected to be available in China, compared to 700,000 units of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold foldable smartphone, targeting global consumers.
In addition to the limited production volume, the Mate X will not support Google’s Android operating system -- an aftereffect of the ongoing China-US trade war.
Because of the disadvantages, the Mate X will likely be difficult to appeal to global consumers even if the device launches in other countries, according to market watchers.
“It is also not clear whether the Chinese firm has solved the issues related to wrinkles in the middle of the screen, which could become a major drawback for the device,” an official from an electronic parts maker said.
The Mate X, featuring an 8-inch single screen, becomes a dual-display phone when folded with 6.6-inch and 6.38-inch screens. Galaxy Fold, on the other hand, sports two screens -- a 7.3-inch internal and a 4.6-inch external screen.
Samsung’s inward-folding display technology, which boasts a bend radius of 1.5 millimeter, is considered to be more advanced and difficult to develop than the outward-folding display because of the smaller curvature.
The Mate X was initially priced at around 3 million won ($2,541) when it was first showcased February, but the exact price has not been unveiled yet.
The smartphone’s release has been put off several times allegedly due to durability issues of the folding screen.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)