Pre-orders for the Mate phones in the United Arab Emirates will open on March 15 - expected to be priced around AED9,900
Huawei Technologies reaffirmed its bet that expensive folding smartphones will excite consumers into upgrades, with a second-generation version of its Mate X folding phone, which up to now has been sold mostly in its home country.
Huawei said the product’s more durable than the first version and has a faster processor and 3D graphics.
When folded, the Mate Xs has a 6.6-inch display, which is just slightly larger than Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max. But when opened out, Huawei’s device becomes an 8-inch tablet computer. It has three rear-facing Leica Camera AG-branded lenses, which double as selfie cameras when flipping the phone around in its folded form.
Pre-orders for the Mate phones in the United Arab Emirates will open on March 15, and while the local price is yet to be announced, the phone is listed as costing 2,499 euro (AED9,900) in the latest press release.
The market for smartphones is slowing, and manufacturers are trying to find new ways to convince consumers they should upgrade their devices. Bendable products are an increasingly popular strategy being tried out by some of the world’s biggest device makers.
Samsung has been selling a foldable smartphone for as many months as Huawei, and at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, Lenovo Group Ltd. showed off an updated prototype of a folding ThinkPad computer. The Motorola Razr brand is also due to make a comeback later this year, and it too will bend.
However, due to the US government blacklisting Huawei - which it accuses of aiding Beijing in espionage - last year, the company’s new Mate Xs run on versions of Android that’s free and open-source, meaning they don’t have apps such as Google Maps, YouTube or the Google Play Store. Samsung’s Android-powered tablets do not suffer such restrictions.
Huawei’s been battling global scrutiny over its telecom equipment, but often overlooked is the company’s rapid growth as a smartphone manufacturer. In 2018, it surpassed Apple to become the world’s second-largest maker of smartphones, according to data from market research firm IDC.
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