One can argue that ZTE officially got the ball rolling when it comes to foldable smartphone devices when it formally introduced its Axon M handset earlier this week. It goes without saying that other phone makers will definitely not just sit idly by. As a matter of fact, another Chinese mobile giant, Huawei, has revealed that it is also busy polishing its own take on the foldable phone concept, and the company promises that its offering will likely debut some time next year.
Just a few days ago, Huawei generated some buzz by unveiling the latest additions to its Mate lineup of phablets -- the Mate 10 and the Mate 10 Pro. During that unveiling, Richard Yu, the chief executive officer of the phone maker’s consumer business group, had stated that Huawei actually now has a working prototype of its foldable smartphone. Suffice it to say that handset is not ready to released in the market yet, mainly because the Chinese tech giant is still in the process of resolving some material and design particulars, not to mention sorting production related matters. Yu has hinted, however, that like ZTE’s Axon M, the Huawei foldable device will come with a pair of display screens.
Changes happen so fast in mobile, with new innovations and breakthroughs seemingly coming to the fore every year. But when it comes to radical shifts in the overall design of a modern smartphone, phone makers never quite veered away from the expected touch screen design. Except maybe for this recent trend of nearly bezel-less and big screen smartphone devices (also known as phablets), most of today’s handsets typically look like, well, the original 2007 iPhone.
But with a foldable smartphone now officially made available in the market thanks to ZTE, will more future designs go for the foldable approach? It is hard to say at the moment, and one can argue that everything will really depend on how consumers accept the idea of foldable smartphones for every day use.
Still, phone makers can play a major part by offering a foldable smartphone product that can deliver on its promise. Huawei is certainly up to the challenge -- the last few years have seen the phone maker graduate from being China’s number smartphone brand to being the third biggest smartphone vendor in the planet (and for a brief moment, even surpassing Apple as the second biggest next to Samsung). But it may have its work cut out for it -- Samsung, after all, promised back in January early this year that it will also be launching a foldable smartphone real soon. Even Apple has similar plans.
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