BEIJING, February 6 (TMTPost)-- Huawei Technologies Ltd may soon add a new member for its smartphone brand lineup.
Huawei was recently reported to be under the secret development of a triple foldable smartphone, and have entered the final stage of design and verification. The Chinese tech giant could launch the brand new handset as soon as the second quarter of this year, according to the report. Production of the tri-foldable mobile is making steady progress as Huawei is testing new components and ultra-thin flexible glass screens. While Huawei didn’t confirm the report yet, Taiwan-based newspaper Economic Daily News noted two Taiwanese hinge suppliers --Jarllytec Co., Ltd. and Fositek Corp have received more orders from the company for it is preparing for components of the triple foldable mobile.
The paper learned 40% of Jarllytech’s overall revenue now comes from foldable smartphones and all of them are Huawei’s orders. It reported Jarllytech is striving to meet major client’s demand. The biggest difference between existing foldable handsets and Huawei’s triple foldable offering is the latter has three display panels, instead of two, and will be equipped with two sets of hinges, doubling from the existing ones, the paper cited industry insiders. It also cited sources from supply chain that Huawei recently placed big orders for its new foldable handset and its purchase of display panel has exceeded Samsung, though Huawei’s major display suppliers are Samsung and BOE and hasn’t included any Taiwanese manufacturers,
Other sources suggested Huawei has started large scale purchase for its triple foldable smartphone as it is ready for the mass production. THe new phone is likely to have an S or Z-shaped folding design, and its screen size will to be around 6.4 inches, similar to other standard smartphones. Unlike the current foldables using a 16:9 or 18:9 ratio aspect, Huawei’s new tri-folding mobile might feature a 28:9 or 18:9 design, providing users with an innovative transformation from phone to tablet.
The new foldable mobile came as Huawei has made a strong 5G comeback with its new flagship. Huawei surprisingly launched a presale for Mate 60 Pro priced at RMB6,999 (US$960) on August 29 2023 even though it has not officially released the model. The low-profile presale turned out such a success that the first batch of the phone sold out within hours, igniting fervor for Huawei’s 5G comeback in China.
While Huawei didn’t provide details about technical specifications or whether the phone supports the 5G network, Chinese media outlets said online tests proved Mate 60 Pro can deliver the internet speed of 5G. Multiple reports attributed Mate 60’s 5G connectivity to Kirin 9000s chipset, which was deemed as evidence that Huawei managed to defy years of U.S. sanctions. Although the network speed test tool displays 4G LTE network, actual test results surpass the theoretical limit of 150Mbps, reaching over 800Mbps, fully meeting 5G network speed standards.
A week after Mate 60 Pro debut, Huawei initiated pre-orders for new models including the Mate X5 and the Mate 60 Pro Plus. Huawei was said in September to launch a comprehensive program to return to the smartphone market, buoyed by the best-selling Mate 60 series. Huawei has raised shipment target in the second half of 2023 for Mate 60 by 20% as sales of the flagship were stronger than the company’s expectation, according to the state-backed newspaper Securities Daily that month. Huawei was also reported to deliver at least 40 million units of new smartphone in 2023.
The shipment plan of Mate 60 Pro has increased by about 20% to 5.5 million to 6 million units as the demand for the device has been strong since inception, said TF International Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo in September. Kuo forecasted at least a total of 12 million Mate 60 Pro mobiles would be shipped 12 months after launch. Kuo, as one of the most reliable sources of data on Apple products, anticipated that Huawei’s mobile delivery in 2023 will increase about 65% from the previous year to 38 million units, driven by demand for Mate 60 Plus, and its delivery in 2024 is expected to be no less than 60 million.
Nikkei Asia reported in October that Huawei has set a goal to ship between 60 million to 70 million smartphones in 2024.reported 2024 target is more than the combined mobile shipments in the previous two years and represents a doubling of shipments compared to 2022. At the beginning of 2024, a Chinese news column under Tencent News reported Huawei has raised its shipment target for the year 2024 as it is gearing up production of Mate 60 Pro. It cited sources that Huawei has placed enough additional orders with supply chain to make sure it can hit the shipment target of between 60 million and 70 million units per previous report.