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Samsung is so afraid of the Mate X, it might make a copycat before Huawei even releases it

Published Jun 27th, 2019 7:31AM EDT
Mate X vs Galaxy Fold
Image: Chris Smith, BGR

The worst things that Samsung could have imagined for its first foldable phone already happened. First, Huawei’s gorgeous Mate X (image above), that was unveiled just a few days after the Galaxy Fold became official in mid-February, became the talk of the town in Barcelona, Spain, at MWC 2019. To date, the Mate X has the best foldable design out there, especially compared to the ugly Galaxy Fold. Then Samsung had to endure an even bigger humiliation in early April when advance Galaxy Fold units broke left and right forcing the company to recall the phone and postpone the launch so it can fix the screen durability issues. But it turns out that Samsung is so afraid of the Mate X that it wants to release a version of its own. And it wants to do it before the Mate X hits stores in September.

Soon after the Galaxy Fold and Mate X were introduced, Samsung and Huawei traded punches, each criticizing the other’s design and praising their own. Since then, we saw that Huawei is working on in-folding foldable phones like the Galaxy Fold, which look even better than Samsung’s phone.

Meanwhile, Samsung has a plethora of foldable phone patents of its own, as the company has been developing these devices for years. In the past few days alone, we saw a couple of distinct rumors that said Samsung is making an 8-inch Galaxy Fold version that would ship with a built-in stylus and that it’s also developing a foldable phone that would a look a lot like Motorola’s rumored foldable Razr handset.

And Samsung has more foldable phones in the works, according to The Korea Herald.

Image source: Samsung

The Mate X-like Samsung phone is supposed to launch before September, according to the report, which is when the Mate X is supposed to hit stores. Huawei said a few days ago that September is a worst-case scenario, as the company is waiting for 5G certification for the phone. Huawei postponed the launch of the Mate X recently, and we thought at the time that the Galaxy Fold’s fate might be to blame. That’s always a possibility that Huawei wanted to take extra steps to make sure the Mate X can’t be easily destroyed. Then there’s also the trade war and the import ban that cast a long shadow over Huawei’s launch plans for any devices, Mate X included.

So how can Samsung beat Huawei to market with a Galaxy Fold version that looks like the Mate X? Well, Samsung has been working on such technology for a while, so it’s probably ready to mass-produce such a device. The report notes it had a prototype out last year, but went forward with the in-folding version instead.

“The launch date has yet to be unveiled, but it’s likely to be earlier than the date set for Huawei,” a source spoke of the out-folding Galaxy Fold version. “Suppliers have already begun mass-producing major parts, and possibly even the phone itself.”

“By getting ahead of Huawei and producing the first mass-produced out-folding smartphones, Samsung can claim another world title,” said an unnamed market watcher. Then again, all Samsung did so far is to announce the Galaxy Fold before Huawei unveiled the Mate X. The Galaxy Fold can’t be purchased anywhere in stores because it hasn’t been launched yet. If anything, Samsung can claim to be the world’s first major smartphone vendor to recall a revolutionary phone before it ever shipped to buyers.

The Herald also says that some people think Samsung has actually decided to skip the Galaxy Fold, and instead launch a next version of the handset as early as July, complete with 5G connectivity. Samsung Display recently said it was mass-producing foldable screens for the Galaxy Fold.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.