Huawei on Monday unveiled its latest foldable phone as the embattled Chinese smartphone maker ramps up efforts to entice premium phone users in its home market.

Why it matters: Huawei is focusing its limited production capacity on high-end models after being cut off from the global chip supply chain. The new phone is priced starting at RMB 17,000 (around $2,785).

  • The company’s last foldable phone, priced at RMB 16,999, was met with great enthusiasm from Chinese consumers. The model sold out within seconds of being made available.

Details: The Mate X2 foldable phone features an 8-inch interior display when unfolded and has an additional 6.5-inch exterior display.

  • The 256GB version of the Mate X2 starts at RMB 17,999 while the 512GB version costs RMB 18,999. The model will is available for purchase in China starting Thursday. The company did not say if it will be available in overseas markets.
  • Two rounds of US sanctions last year have “made our operations extremely difficult,” said Richard Yu, head of Huawei consumer business, at the launch event on Monday. “But thanks to our partners and consumers… we survived in 2020.”

Context: Huawei, once the world’s largest handset vendor, is now ranked third globally after shipping 170 million units in 2020. 

  • A January report by market research firm Trendforce estimated that the company’s smartphone shipments will drop to 45 million units in 2021.
  • The sharp decline is mainly because the company sold off its budget brand Honor last year. The company has been cut off from the global semiconductor supply chain and now relies on stockpiles to maintain production.
  • In January 2020, Huawei told Chinese media that it sells approximately 100,000 units of its Mate X foldable device every month.

Writing about semiconductors and telecommunications.