What happened: At an event at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on Sunday, Huawei launched its first 5G foldable smartphone, the Mate X. It can fold into a 6.6-inch smartphone and unfold into an 8-inch tablet, which runs on its in-house Kirin 980 processor and Balong 5000 chipset allowing for 5G. With a starting price at €2,299 (around RMB 17,500 or $2,600), Huawei’s first 5G foldable phone would be able to download a 1-gigabyte movie in only 3 seconds, said Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group.
Why it’s important: Foldable smartphones are creating a buzz in the consumer electronics sector, and Huawei looks to show its leadership in flexible display technology as well as 5G. Huawei surpassed Apple to become the world’s second-largest handset maker last year. Digitimes cited industry sources as saying the Chinese telecommunication giant eyes to ship 250 million phones this year and replace Samsung as the world’s largest smartphone maker. Huawei Mate X marks the company’s latest move to seize the initiative amid the global 5G roll-out race.