Huawei breaks price ceiling with $3,500 folding 5G smartphone

BARCELONA Huawei Technologies unveiled a US$2,600 (S$3,500) folding smartphone on Sunday which it said was primed for next generation 5G mobile connections, even as the US campaigns to bar the Chinese company from such networks over security concerns.

Huawei, the world's second-largest smartphone vendor after Samsung Electronics, said it had taken the lead on developing phones for 5G - which promise super fast Internet speeds for consumers and businesses - because it was also involved in developing the networks.

"This phone is not only for today for 5G but also for future 5G. On all the benchmarks you can see the performance, the speed is the fastest for 5G in the world," said Mr Richard Yu, head of Huawei's consumer business group.

Speaking in Barcelona on the eve of the mobile industry's biggest global event, Mr Yu said the Huawei Mate X will have two back-to-back screens which unfold to become an eight-inch tablet display.

He said the Mate X would be able to download a 1 gigabyte movie in three seconds.

When it goes on sale later this year, its price tag is expected to be a new record high for a consumer smartphone.

Samsung last week unveiled its own folding smartphone, priced at nearly US$2,000, in a bid to top the technology of Apple Inc and Chinese rivals and reignite consumer interest amid slumping sales. - REUTERS