Suppliers' shares rise as Huawei moves to release 5G foldable smartphone Mate X
Published: Oct 22, 2019 07:46 PM

A Huawei Mate X, the first 5G foldable smartphone from Huawei, is displayed during the 17th China Digital Entertainment Expo, also known as ChinaJoy 2019, in Shanghai, on August 2, 2019. Photo: IC

Huawei will officially release its 5G foldable smartphone Mate X and start pre-sales on Wednesday, media reports said. The news boosted the shares of suppliers on Tuesday, and analysts said that Huawei is likely to become the leader and standard-setter in foldable mobile phones.

The Mate X, a 5G mobile with a folding screen, will be released during a news conference for 5G terminals at Huawei's base in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province on Wednesday, media reported.

"If the Mate X officially goes on sale as scheduled, Huawei will be the first manufacturer in China to release smartphones with both 5G technology and folding screens, which is good news for relevant enterprises," Ma Jihua, a veteran industry analyst, told the Global Times on Tuesday. "The Chinese technology giant has joined the race to be the leader and standard-setter in the foldable smartphone segment."

Samsung, one of the biggest competitors of Huawei, released its foldable mobile Galaxy Fold on September 6, according to media reports. The phone is set to be available in China from online stores as of November 1.

"The competition has begun. If Huawei can become the leader or the standard in the industry, then the industrial chain will also become dominant," said Ma.

Another Chinese mobile manufacturer -- Xiaomi -- showcased its mobile with a folding screen early this year. Microsoft is also dabbling in the market of foldable devices with its Surface Duo, which is expected to launch in 2020.  

"Because of US restrictions, the high-end Huawei Mate X is basically produced with domestic parts. If Huawei can keep up its high growth rate in the sales of its smartphones, enterprises on Huawei's industrial chain will be the biggest beneficiaries," said Ma.

Huawei concept stocks were strong after the media reports on Tuesday. Several companies' shares rose by the 10-percent daily limit, and some others rose more than 7 percent, including companies providing software, display screens and technology.

"The release of the Mate X shows the confidence of Huawei. The impact will be huge, which means folding screens are feasible. Other handset makers will join in when they see the maturity of the technology and the popularity of the market, thus stimulating the development of the whole industrial chain," said Ma.

The Mate X made its public debut in February at the Mobile World Congress held in London. Walter Ji, president of Huawei's consumer business group in Western Europe, has said that "in the short term, this smartphone is important to stimulate the 5G industry and open the doors to new collaboration."

"Folding screens have a very important role and value. 5G speeds are bound to come with a big screen, but the current size of the screen of mobile phones has reached its limit," said Ma. 

The mobile industry discovered that the only solution is a folding screen, after tests and experiments. Therefore, the success of the folding screen is related to the success of 5G applications and whether 5G can be fully developed in consumers as end users, Ma said.