However, Samsung leads in two respects: availability and price. The Fold will go on sale in initial markets from April 26. The Mate X does not have a release date.
Bruce Lee, vice president of the Handset Business at Huawei CBG, said in an interview after the launch that, because it was the first foldable handset to use 5G, the next generation connectivity technology, it would have to wait for mobile networks themselves to introduce 5G.
“The 5G networks of the operators have not yet been commercialised, and we still need to do a lot of testing regarding interoperation of this phone before the phone can be put to market,” he said. “We estimate it will be by the middle of 2019, but there are a lot of changeable factors that affect the timeline of this launch.”
The other small advantage of the Samsung Fold is price, although the question is really academic, considering the high cost of both devices. The Fold will cost $1800 in the USA, which may translate into well above R40 000 in South Africa. That makes the phone not only highly expensive, but also prohibitively costly for what is clearly the first generation of foldable device from Samsung. Future versions will be sleeker, more elegant, with bigger screens, and at a lower cost.
That is also the one downside of the Mate X. Until Richard Yu announced the price, the audience had cheered almost every feature of the device as it was announced. The announcement of the price brought gasps of surprise: Euro2200, or the equivalent of $2600. That means a device that would cost as much as R60 000 in South Africa.
Again, however, the device is not geared towards sales, but to show technology leadership.
Said Bruce Lee, “Huawei never pursues an excessively high profit margin. We pursue providing the consumer with a better product with higher technology. The price is high not for pursuit of margins but due to the materials and technologies involved, due to the foldable screen. In future, we will work with partners to improve the technology, increase the production of foldable panels, and bring down the price.”
Click here to watch the Gadget exclusive Huawei Mate X demo, recorded by Arthur Goldstuck.
- Arthur Goldstuck is
founderof World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief ofGadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee
Notre Dame, Scoop Makhathini, GoT, top week in search
From fire disaster to social media disaster, the top Google searches this week covered a wide gamut of themes.
Paris and the whole world looked on in shock as the 856-year-old medieval Catholic cathedral crumbled into ash. The tragic infernal destruction of this tourist attraction of historical and religious significance led South Africans to generate more than 200 000 search queries for “Notre Dame Cathedral” on Monday. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire that razed the architectural icon.
In other top trending searches on Google this week, radio presenter Siyabonga Ngwekazi, AKA Scoop Makhathini, went viral when it appeared he had taken to Twitter to expose his girlfriend, Akhona Carpede, for cheating on him. Scoop has since come out to say that he was not responsible for the bitter rant and that his account was hacked. “Scoop Makhathini” generated more than 20 000 search queries on Wednesday.
Fans generated more than 20 000 search queries for “Sam Smith” on Tuesday ahead of the the British superstar’s Cape Town performance at the Grand West Casino. Smith ended up cutting his performance short that night due to vocal strain.
Local Game of Thrones superfans were beside themselves on Sunday, searching the internet high and low for the first episode of the American fantasy drama’s eighth season. “Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 1” generated more than 100 000 queries on Google Search on the weekend.
As the festivities kicked off in California with headliners such as Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande, South Africans generated more than 2 000 search queries for “Coachella” on Saturday.
South Africans generated more than 5 000 search queries for “Wendy Williams” on Friday as it emerged that the American talk show host had filed for divorce from her husband Kevin Hunter after 21 years of marriage. Hunter has long been rumored to have been cheating on Williams, which reportedly finally led to the divorce.
Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40
5G smartphones to hit 5M sales in 2019
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Early 5G smartphone models will be expensive and available in limited volumes. Samsung, LG and Huawei will be the early 5G smartphone leaders this year, followed by Apple next year.
Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “We forecast global 5G smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Less than 1 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide will be 5G-enabled this year. Global 5G smartphone shipments are tiny for now, due to expensive device pricing, component bottlenecks, and restricted availability of active 5G networks.”
Ville Petteri-Ukonaho, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung will be the early 5G smartphone leader in the first half of 2019, due to initial launches across South Korea and the United States. We predict LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola and others will follow later in the year, followed by Apple iPhone with its first 5G model during the second half of 2020. The iPhone looks set to be at least a year behind Samsung in the 5G smartphone race and Apple must be careful not to fall too far behind.”
Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The short-term outlook for 5G smartphones is weak, but the long-term opportunity remains huge. We forecast 1 billion 5G smartphones to ship worldwide per year by 2025. The introduction of 5G networks, by carriers like Verizon or China Mobile, opens up high-speed, ultra-low-latency services such as 8K video, streaming games, and augmented reality for business. The next big question for the mobile industry is how much extra consumers are really willing to pay, if anything, for those emerging 5G smartphones and services.”
Strategy Analytics provides a snapshot analyses for the outlook for 5G smartphone market in this Insight report: 5G Smartphones : From Zero to a Billion
Strategy Analytics provides a deep-dive into the air-interface technologies that will power phones through 2024 across 88 countries here: Global Handset Sales Forecast by 88 Countries and 19 Technologies : 2003 to 2024