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Take a look at the foldable phones unveiled by Samsung and Huawei

Updated : 2019-02-25 14:02:30

Samsung unveiled a highly anticipated smartphone with a foldable screen in an attempt to break the innovation funk that has beset the smartphone market.

But it's far from clear that consumers will embrace a device that retails for almost $2,000, or that it will provide the creative catalyst the smartphone market needs.

The Galaxy Fold, announced last Wednesday in San Francisco, will sell for $1,980 when it is released April 26.

Consumers willing to pay that hefty price will get a device that can unfold like a wallet. It can work like a traditional smartphone with a 4.6 inch screen or morph into something more like a mini-tablet with a 7.3 inch screen.

While China's Huawei unveiled a new folding-screen phone on Sunday, joining the latest trend for bendable devices as it challenges the global smartphone market's dominant players, Apple and Samsung.

Huawei revealed its Mate X phone on the eve of MWC Barcelona, a four-day showcase of mobile devices.

The device can be used on superfast next-generation mobile networks that are due to come online in the coming years.

Device makers are looking to folding screens as the industry's next big thing to help them break out of an innovation malaise, although most analysts think the market is limited, at least in the early days.

The Mate X is the answer to a question Huawei faced as it sought to satisfy smartphone users' demands for bigger screens and longer battery life, said Richard Yu, CEO of its consumer business group.

The Mate X will sell for 2,299 euros ($2,600) when it goes on sale by midyear. That's even more than Samsung's recently revealed Galaxy Fold, priced at nearly $2,000.

The Mate X's screen wraps around the outside so users can still view it when it's closed, unlike the Galaxy Fold, which has a screen that folds shut. Unfolded, the Mate X's screen is 8 inches diagonally, making it the size of a small tablet.

DJ Koh, Samsung President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications, talks about the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
DJ Koh, Samsung President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications, talks about the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
DJ Koh, Samsung President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications, holds up the new Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. Samsung is hailing the 10th anniversary of its first smartphone with three new models that seem unlikely to reverse a sales slump in an industry recycling the same ideas. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
DJ Koh, Samsung President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications, holds up the new Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. Samsung is hailing the 10th anniversary of its first smartphone with three new models that seem unlikely to reverse a sales slump in an industry recycling the same ideas. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
DJ Koh, Samsung President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications, holds up the new Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco.  After spending nearly five years developing the technology underlying its foldable-screen phone, Samsung is clearly hoping for a big payoff.  (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
DJ Koh, Samsung President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications, holds up the new Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco.  After spending nearly five years developing the technology underlying its foldable-screen phone, Samsung is clearly hoping for a big payoff.  (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Features of the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone are displayed during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. When fully unfolded, the device will be able to simultaneously run three different apps on the screen. The Galaxy Fold will also boast six cameras: three in the back, two on the inside and one on the front. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Features of the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone are displayed during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. When fully unfolded, the device will be able to simultaneously run three different apps on the screen. The Galaxy Fold will also boast six cameras: three in the back, two on the inside and one on the front. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Justin Denison, SVP of Mobile Product Development, talks about the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. Samsung is hailing the 10th anniversary of its first smartphone with three new models that seem unlikely to reverse a sales slump in an industry recycling the same ideas. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Justin Denison, SVP of Mobile Product Development, talks about the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. Samsung is hailing the 10th anniversary of its first smartphone with three new models that seem unlikely to reverse a sales slump in an industry recycling the same ideas. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Justin Denison, SVP of Mobile Product Development, talks about the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Justin Denison, SVP of Mobile Product Development, talks about the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Justin Denison, SVP of Mobile Product Development, talks about the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Justin Denison, SVP of Mobile Product Development, talks about the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Justin Denison, SVP of Mobile Product Development, talks about the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. It will sell for $1,980 when it is released April 26. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Justin Denison, SVP of Mobile Product Development, talks about the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. It will sell for $1,980 when it is released April 26. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications, holds up the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. Consumers willing to pay that hefty price will get a device that can unfold like a wallet. It can work like a traditional smartphone with a 4.6 inch screen or morph into something more like a mini-tablet with a 7.3 inch screen. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications, holds up the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during an event Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in San Francisco. Consumers willing to pay that hefty price will get a device that can unfold like a wallet. It can work like a traditional smartphone with a 4.6 inch screen or morph into something more like a mini-tablet with a 7.3 inch screen. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Huawei CEO Richard Yu displays the new Huawei Mate X foldable 5G smartphone at the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, February 24, 2019. The fair started with press conferences on Sunday, before the doors open on Monday, February 25, and runs until February 28. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Huawei CEO Richard Yu displays the new Huawei Mate X foldable 5G smartphone at the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, February 24, 2019. The fair started with press conferences on Sunday, before the doors open on Monday, February 25, and runs until February 28. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
The Mate X's screen wraps around the outside so users can still view it when it's closed, unlike the Galaxy Fold, which has a screen that folds shut. Unfolded, the Mate X's screen is 8 inches diagonally, making it the size of a small tablet. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
The Mate X's screen wraps around the outside so users can still view it when it's closed, unlike the Galaxy Fold, which has a screen that folds shut. Unfolded, the Mate X's screen is 8 inches diagonally, making it the size of a small tablet. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
The Mate X will sell for 2,299 euros ($2,600) when it goes on sale by midyear. That's even more than Samsung's recently revealed Galaxy Fold, priced at nearly $2,000. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
The Mate X will sell for 2,299 euros ($2,600) when it goes on sale by midyear. That's even more than Samsung's recently revealed Galaxy Fold, priced at nearly $2,000. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
The Mate X is the answer to a question Huawei faced as it sought to satisfy smartphone users' demands for bigger screens and longer battery life, said Richard Yu, CEO of its consumer business group. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
The Mate X is the answer to a question Huawei faced as it sought to satisfy smartphone users' demands for bigger screens and longer battery life, said Richard Yu, CEO of its consumer business group. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Huawei CEO Richard Yu displays the new Huawei Mate X foldable 5G smartphone at the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, February 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Huawei CEO Richard Yu displays the new Huawei Mate X foldable 5G smartphone at the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, February 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
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