Samsung Galaxy Fold phone could be cautionary tale for Huawei, others

It’s easy to see why Samsung initially wanted to push out its first-ever folding phone so soon after handing it to reviewers.

With Chinese competitor Huawei making known its own ambition to launch such a device, it was unsurprising the South Korean tech giant would want to stay ahead of the curve.

But that move proved problematic for the world’s top manufacturer of smartphones. Reviewers who got an early look at Samsung’s Galaxy Fold have already reported issues with the screens breaking.

Samsung subsequently said it will delay the release of the near-$2,000 Galaxy Fold past the original April 26 launch date. It said it will announce a new release date “in the coming weeks.”

Now the attention may turn to other smartphone makers with foldable ambitions. And that might not necessarily be a good thing, according to experts.

Huawei is expected to sell its pricier $2,600 Mate X to customers later this year. The phone is a little different to Samsung’s. It folds out backward so that, when closed, there are screens on both sides.

As one prominent tech reviewer, Marques Brownlee, points out on YouTube: “I am now way more skeptical about Huawei Mate X, which I thought looked incredible, but now I’m kind of concerned about that folding display being on the outside.”

Peter Richardson, research director for tech strategies at Counterpoint Research, echoes Brownlee’s concern. He told CNBC Huawei’s approach makes its foldable’s screen “even more exposed.” A spokesperson for Huawei declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.

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