IT’S BEEN GOING AROUND for a while now that various companies are working on foldable phones. It seems that Samsung’s take on the concept – the heavily rumoured Galaxy X – will face competition when released in 2019.
Huawei’s CEO, Richard Yu, announced to German newspaper Die Welt that Huawei is “already working on” a foldable smartphone that should also be releasing within the next year. Yu hopes that Huawei’s foldable smartphone will be a replacement for laptops in the future, arguing that the only reason people still make use of electronic notebooks is because smartphone screens are “too small”.
Having just overtaken Apple for the number two spot in smartphone sales, it seems that Yu’s next target is Samsung’s mobile division. It doesn’t seem like too much of a leap, especially since the company has just announced the world’s first 5G-ready 7nm chip – the Kirin 980.
However, Yu’s dream of replacing the laptop seems a little far-fetched to analysts. Ben Stanton, a market researcher at Canalys, told the BBC that, although fold-out phones are close to “becoming a commercial reality,” it seems as if the only reason companies are producing next-gen flip-phones is to take a technological dump on the market to claim their territory.
It brings back childhood memories of “if you show me yours, I’ll show you mine.”
The Huawei foldable phone isn’t the only interesting thing that came out of Yu’s interview. Though it has been common knowledge for a while, Yu highlighted the fact that developers will soon be able to make use of the AI that is built into sub-level EMUI (Huawei’s Android flavour).
The AI currently runs on a dedicated chip within Huawei’s Kirin 970 processor called the NPU (neural-network processing unit), allowing it to function at no detriment to the computational power of the rest of the phone. The ability to tap into that is exciting for a lot of app developers, and we here at Bluefire are excited to see what comes next.
Even though a foldable phone is just around the corner, don’t get to excited for that bendable smartphone just yet. That hi-tech fleshlight is still just a drea-… concept! A concept.