Last week, Android Central reported Huawei had sold 100,000 units of its Mate X foldable smartphone a month since its release in mid-November. Notably, the Chinese conglomerate has only released its flexible handset in its domestic market.
Despite its limited availability, the device’s sales have convinced its manufacturer to produce a successor. Frandroid reported Huawei would unveil a new iteration of the Mate X at February’s 2020 Mobile World Conference. As opposed to its predecessor, the firm plans to roll out its second foldable handset in Europe.
The Surprising Success of Huawei’s Mate X
Huawei’s ability to sell 200,000 Mate X devices is impressive for a few reasons. For one thing, the Sino corporation delayed its launch from June until mid-November. The firm used the extra time to fine-tune its first foldable mobile device in the wake of the troubled release of a competitor’s flexible smartphone.
The conglomerate’s hesitance proved wise as it launched the Mate X in China without controversy. However, the corporation faced another obstacle in marketing its hybrid smartphone/tablet. The company put the mobile device on sale for 16,699 yuan ($2,423). Given that Apple struggled to move its iPhone XR due to its high cost, Hauwei’s flexible mobile could’ve gone the same way.
Instead, the Mate X has done very respectable numbers. The combination of brand loyalty and novelty appealed to a host of Chinese consumers. Plus, as the firm plans on making the second Mate X available in more than one region, Huawei’s foldable device sales should continue to be healthy.
Rising Demand for Foldable Handset
It’s worth noting the success of Huawei’s Mate X comes as foldable handsets are gaining popularity in the global smartphone market.
Last month, a Samsung executive claimed his firm moved over a million units of its flexible Galaxy Fold device. Earlier this month, CEO DJ Koh revised that figure down to between 400,000 and 500,000. But its brisk sales mean consumers are interested in the unusual smartphone, even with its $1,980 price tag. Indeed, the South Korean corporation will reportedly debut the Fold’s successor device at a February 11 Unpacked event.
Furthermore, Motorola attracted a raft of attention by announcing plans to release an updated foldable version of its Razr smartphone. Priced at $1500, the device boasts a stainless steel frame, a 6.2-inch interior OLED panel, and a wealth of nostalgia appeal. In fact, the handset resonated with so many consumers, its manufacturer had to push back its release date.
Even Big Tech firm Apple looks to be getting in on the foldable handset trend. Last February, The Burn-In reported the electronics maker filed a patent update for a flexible display. Moreover, the company’s screen maker Corning announced it was developing a flexible glass display in March.
While consumers prize affordability and functionality in their mobile devices, they also crave novelty. Indeed, the original Razr and iPhone became bestsellers in part due to their unique construction and form factors. As smartphones enter their third decade in availability, it is clear manufacturers should value creative design as much as supply chain stability and pricing.