Huawei attempts to steal thunder from Samsung’s foldable efforts

Samsung is attempting to wow the world with the first foldable smartphone, however Huawei is seemingly trying to sneak in front of the Korean’s with its own launch in early 2019.

According to Nikkei sources, Huawei is planning to use an organic lighting-emitting diode display manufactured by Chinese panel supplier BOE Technology Group to beat Samsung to the punch. The first batch of shipments would be pretty small, though that doesn’t seem to be the point. Huawei seems to be striding solely for the claim to be a ‘world first’.

Details are very thin on the ground at the moment, though we worry over the rush to land the first punch. The smartphone market is in desperate need for a manufacturer to come up with some form of genuine differentiation, though a rushed and botched first attempt could cause more reputational damage to the idea than anything else.

A foldable phone is a fantastic idea, and will have tech-geeks around the world frothing at the mouth. Samsung’s efforts recently received certification from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to verify the claim its panel would be ‘unbreakable’, a perfectly justified concern for the futuristic design. While Samsung seem to be taking its time to nail the project, if Huawei is determined to be the world first, we suspect it might not be the most satisfactory of products.

Should this be the case, the reviews could significantly damage any potential of market penetration. As soon as the first product hits the market, reviews will be everywhere; such is the void of differentiation in the smartphone market in recent years. A rushed product launch could kill the potential before it has even had the chance to make an impact.

This is our worry. A foldable screen is a great idea, should it work. But the risk of rushed mistakes are high.

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