Huawei aiming to beat Samsung to first foldable phone, report says

Huawei is reportedly planning to gazump Samsung’s plans to bring a flexible, foldable smartphone to market before its big Android rival.

According to the report from Nikkei (via The Verge), Huawei plans to use OLED panels from the Chinese supplier BOE for a limited run of phones that could arrive at the start of 2019.

Beijing Oriental Electronics may not immediately spring to mind among display giants, but the firm has pioneered some OLED leaps and has demonstrated some foldable displays in the past.

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There’s no news in the report on precisely what form factor the design could take, beyond saying the phone would be “foldable”. You can see the prototypes from BOE in the video below.

This could give Huawei the opportunity to challenge Samsung, whose own display division has pushed the envelope on the way to creating a market ready foldable handset.

It’s easy to see why Huawei wants to beat Samsung to the punch. The firm has traded on its reputation to innovate in recent times. The P20 Pro was the first handset to offer a triple camera, with other manufacturers, including LG, seemingly ready to follow suit before the year is out.

A little further back, Huawei released small quantities of an Ascend P7 phone with a sapphire display (whatever happened to those, by the way?). It also debuted the Force Touch tech in its 2015 Mate S, which arrived before Apple incorporated the tech into the iPhone 6s range.

Samsung is reportedly planning to launch its long-touted foldable phone, a 7-inch display that ‘folds like a wallet’, in early 2019, according to recent reports. LG is also working on a similar solution, according to recent speculation. Could 2019 be the year this long-promised innovation emerges from the concept stage?

Do you see the appeal of a foldable handset? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.