Richard Yu, the CEO of Chinese tech giant Huawei, has given an interview to German newspaper Die Welt. He discusses the current allegations of spying against the company, but also the future of the Mate X folding smartphone that was announced last month in Barcelona. Ironically, he complains about other Chinese companies copying Huawei’s intellectual property, something most Western companies already have to deal with for a long time. Hu says:
We have just announced out first foldable smartphone, the Mate X. It will influence the smartphone market considerably in the next couple of years. I think that in five years time foldable phones will be the industry standard. When it’s commercially available many companies will copy our device. Although we have many patents on the phone’s technology, a lot of manufacturers, particularly from China, won’t be deterred by that.Richard Yu – CEO of Huawei
Yu was asked by Die Welt about the stellar price of the Mate X (€2300):
The price has its reasons. The components, especially the display and the hinge are expensive. We’ll sell the smartphone in the beginning as a premium product. But as times goes on, it will be available in the mainstream market segment. We’ll be able to offer it below 1000 euros, we’ll need two years for that. Eventually, maybe even for €500, but that will take long. It depends how well the device will be received. We can speed up to mass production at any time.
Asked when he thinks Apple will bring a foldable phone, Yu said:
Not this year and even bringing it next year to market will be difficult for them, is my personal estimation. We don’t know, but they will work on it.
Yu also revealed in the interview that Huawei is working on augmented reality glasses that can display information up to 200 inch diagonal. He believes such a device will replace the smartphone in the not so near future. It could come to market in less than five years.