Samsung Electronics and Huawei are having a foldable phone showdown in China, one of the world's largest smartphone markets. Huawei released the Mate X on Nov. 15 following Samsung Electronics’ launch of the Galaxy Fold in China on Nov. 8.
Samsung Electronics’ first batch of the Galaxy Fold were sold out just in two seconds after the model went on sale at Alibaba and JD.com, two major Chinese e-commerce companies on Nov. 8. The second batch was also sold out on Nov. 11, China's largest shopping festival day. However, the exact quantity of the Galaxy Fold sales was not disclosed.
The Huawei Mate X was also sold out just in one minute after the foldable phone hit shelves of online stores on Nov. 15. Huawei announced that it will sell the Mate X every Friday at 10:08 a.m.
The Galaxy Fold is an infolding foldable phone and is 4.6 inches when folded and 7.3 inches when unfolded. Display defects were found ahead of its April launch, but after reinforcement, the product has been sold without controversy over defects.
The Mate X is an outfolding foldable phone with a 6.6-inch front part and 6.36-inch rear pat. It becomes an 8-inch display phone when unfolded. Its price is 16,999 yuan, which is 1,000 yuan higher than the Galaxy Fold in China.
Controversy is continuing over the quality of the Mate X as Huawei advised its customers not to unfold the Mate X at temperatures below minus 5 degrees Celsius. Some smartphone experts note that in many places in China including Beijing, the mercury falls below minus 5 degrees in winter so Huawei launched the Mate X too soon. Despite the controversy over the quality of the Mate X, smartphone experts speculate that “patriotic consumption” in China among Chinese people may have helped boost sales of the Mate X in protest of U.S. sanctions on Huawei.
Huawei shipped 41.5 million units of smartphones, accounting for 39.8 percent of the Chinese market in the third quarter, market researcher Counterpoint Research said.