Huawei wants to beat Samsung to the punch and release the world's first foldable smartphone, with analysts estimating it could come as soon as early next year.
Samsung is currently the world leader when it comes to displays, thanks mainly to its Samsung Display subsidiary, which makes OLED panels for a whole bunch of companies, including Apple.
For a while it's been apparent that South Korean electronics brand has been developing a foldable Galaxy smartphone, and its arrival seems pretty close — just recently, Samsung revealed its "unbreakable" display that's been certified for durability.
Huawei And BOE To Take On Samsung
Huawei wants to compete aggressively. Through flexible OLED panels from Chinese supplier BOE, it's apparently planning to produce a limited run of foldable smartphones, according to Nikkei Asian Review. Most consumers have probably never heard of BOE, but its display business has rapidly grown in recent times. In fact, the company has been tapped to make displays for a bunch of Apple products, including MacBooks and iPads, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Huawei Wants To Beat Samsung With The World's First Foldable Phone
It's typical for Huawei to desire being the "first." In 2014, when rumors came out suggesting Apple was going to use a sapphire crystal display for its next iPhone, Huawei beat it to the punch and released the limited edition Huawei Ascend P7 Sapphire. Apple ended up not using the technology.
Huawei was also the first to implement Force Touch technology even before Apple incorporated it into iPhones. It seems Huawei is pulling the same move with regard to foldable technology: accelerate production, release limited units, and technically earn the honor of being the first to come up with such a phone.
With this, the race to make the first foldable smartphone is on, but the benefits of such a form factor remains unclear — besides, of course, the wow factor. Not to mention the potential software-related issues of a phone that can be folded. Both Apple and Huawei would have to develop specialized user interfaces to make intuitive experiences.
Smartphones today are already pretty excellent, and it's hard to imagine how foldability would make them even better. Is it another gimmick in the vein of 3D TVs, which are now obsolete? In any case, it seems to be the direction smartphone manufacturers are inching toward, and they have to hope it's the right path forward.
Do you think there should be foldable smartphones? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!