The Huawei Mate X has picked up a great deal of praise over the past few days, but some of the big questions levelled at folding phones are: are they a fad, a niche product, or the genuine next big thing?
Time will, of course, tell, but Huawei reckons phones you can fold could one day become more popular than regular slate form-factor smartphones.
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“It depends on whether foldable phones can bring real benefits to the end user,” Anson Zhang, the managing director of Huawei UK’s Consumer Business Group, told Trusted Reviews in Barcelona this week.
“I think there’s a strong argument to believe that foldable devices in the future will be more widely used than [regular] smartphone devices. The bigger screen can help the end user do more things.
“We do believe [the Mate X] will be widely sold.”
The FlexPai offers an almost comically bad user experience, while the Galaxy Fold very much looks like a first-generation product – we’re looking forward to getting our hands on it.
“We decided to only put our brand on a product that we believe is ready for consumers to really embrace,” OnePlus CEO Carl Pei told Trusted Reviews at MWC 2019.
“So more exploratory form factors like foldables are not really something that we’ve looked at. Our approach would be to see whether it works, whether people like it, before thinking about one for ourselves.”
Presumably, several other smartphone makers are doing the same.
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“There will be changes in the future. People had phones, then they had phones with a screen, then people had tablets. You can see a trail through the years,” Zhang added.
“The tablet market, globally, is already stale or even slightly in decline, because a lot of people can do most things on their smartphone instead of using a tablet.
“People won’t need to have both a smartphone and a tablet on them if they have a foldable device that can do anything.”
Are you sold on the idea of folding phones? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.