Foldable phones dominate as Mobile World Congress opens

Foldable devices mark the “biggest change” ever in the smartphone industry, according to Huawei’s mobile boss.

Huawei consumer business chief executive Richard Yu unveiled Huawei’s Mate X foldable smartphone on Sunday, just days after Samsung revealed its Galaxy Fold flexible-screen device.

Both phones will be on display for the first time at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) technology show, which opens its doors to an expected crowd of more 100,000 people in Barcelona on Monday.

Mr Yu said foldable phones will be the future of the smartphone industry, and that the Chinese firm believes it can be the number one company in the industry “within two years – maybe even next year”.

Huawei overtook Apple last year to become the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, behind Samsung.

The announcement of two major flexible-screen smartphones is expected to dominate the MWC tech trade show.

Speaking after unveiling Huawei’s foldable phone concept, Mr Yu justified the higher price of the Mate X by saying he believed it was “definitely” superior to Samsung’s new device.

He said Huawei hoped to be able to reduce the price of the Mate X over time and that it was his dream for everyone to have access to it.

On a busy day of announcements, fellow Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi announced a new phone ready for the 5G era of data networks, while Nokia announced a range of new smartphones, including the Nokia 9 PureView, which includes five rear cameras.

Elsewhere, Microsoft announced its second-generation HoloLens mixed reality headset, which is aimed at business and enterprise users.

On Monday, hundreds of new phones, tablets and wearables are set to be exhibited on the show floor during the convention.

- Press Association

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