Earlier this week Huawei unveiled a 'new' foldable phone, which is really almost identical to its old foldable phone that we haven't been able to buy yet. So that's been on the mouths of many Huawei executives, including UK managing director Anson Zhang who had some harsh words to say about rival foldables.
Speaking to Trusted Reviews, he said:
“If you open it up and there [isn’t] more smartphone, why … do [a] foldable?
“We think it’s a more friendly way for end-user usage … you do the foldable in order to enhance the user experience. Why do people [want] a foldable? … They want a device with a bigger screen but pocketable – that is the reason behind [it].
“It’s not just for looks for a foldable, for [looking] cool … if you open it up and there’s no more smartphone, why … do [a] foldable?
“You do foldable in order to have better views – reading, video, even multi-task as Richard [Yu] showed.”
Well I can think of a few reasons why people might want a flip-phone style foldable. Nostalgia for one, and the ability to satisfyingly click it closed to end a call like the olden dears of the early 2000s. Plus it's quite useful for little pockets and bags, since it's actually smaller than most modern phones - even when it's folded up.
Sweeping generalisations don't really work where phones are concerned, though. True, phones that fold out into tablets are useful if you want a larger screen, but not everyone will because people prioritise different things when they buy a phone.
Many people mocked larger phones (or phablets) when they first appeared on the scene, but they've become so commonplace that the word phablet has dropped out of the lingo. But despite this people still want smaller phones, and there are companies that are willing to provide them. Not many of the company flagships fall under that category, but still.
It's true that foldable flip phones probably aren't that popular, but then again neither are any foldable phones. They're all expensive, many of them are prone to breaking, and there's also the fact a third of the ones we've seen already have only been available in China.
Oh right, and Huawei phones don't have access to Google Play services. They may have talked at length about their own App Gallery earlier this week, but the fact of it is that no hardware in the world can make up for the fact users can't have legitimate access to the majority of Android's best apps.
Only time will tell what is going to happen to the foldable phone. Right now we don't know what designs are going to work and appeal to the mass market audience, assuming any of them actually do. But until that point badmouthing an alternative design doesn't actually do anything. [Trusted Reviews]