Huawei's Mate X foldable phone isn't even out yet, but nonetheless Huawei CEO Richard Yu has been talking about the future of bendy Androids, and it looks bright.
In an interview with GSMArena, Huawei CEO Richard Yu espouses the view that while foldable phones will become popular – especially as prices come down – the market will be split between traditional smartphones and the folding kind:
Looking at foldable devices in general and the Mate X in particular, what market share do you see for foldable devices compared to other form factors (can you give us a percentage)?
Well, currently, folding phones are just in the beginning and the market share is small, they cost a lot and it's very expensive to produce such devices. As times fly, the costs will reduce, I think in two years foldable phones will have a similar price to current flagship phones. Still some people will prefer normal smartphones and others will prefer foldable ones.
Would you say half of your devices in a few years will be foldable?
It’s difficult to say, I think that on a flagship level in two years, half of our devices could be foldable. I really enjoy using the Mate X. I use it for work all the time, it's really useful having the larger screen when reading charts and graphs or just for browsing the web.
In fact, Yu suggests that it might not just be the market that's split between foldables and non-foldables – normal people might be too. Yu himself apparently uses both the Mate X and the new P30:
"I really enjoy using the Mate X for work, and the P30 Pro for everything else, especially the camera it’s really good. In the future we can make a foldable phone sized in half of this one [P30 Pro], we have plans for a smaller foldable phone."
Although having two flagships might well be beyond most people's means, even if prices do come down a lot.
Yu also commented on the ongoing war around Huawei's involvement in 5G rollout worldwide:
"Switching over to 5G, the European Union decided not to ban Huawei from building 5G networks so when can we expect to see Huawei’s first 5G devices in Europe?
Of course, the US government is trying to limit us but we have the best 5G technology so the carriers still trust Huawei. Our 5G technology is far ahead of the others, maybe I’m not being humble but I can say Huawei is at least one and a half years ahead of the closest competitor. I think everyone wants 5G so I have confidence that more and more carriers in more and more countries will choose Huawei’s 5G solutions. Commercial 5G will be available in the middle of 2019, around May-June. Our first devices will be the foldable Mate X and the 5G variant of the Mate 20 X and they will begin shipping from June."