Biz / Tech

Foldable smartphones moving from niche to mainstream

Zhu Shenshen
Prices are falling and technology and choice are improving, making foldable phones more popular and attainable.
Zhu Shenshen

Foldable smartphones are becoming increasingly popular in China as more choices and better prices take them from a niche market to the mainstream.

Huawei released its P50 Pocket phone on Thursday with an improved camera and a super-light design – and at prices starting from 8,988 yuan (US$1,400), half the price of the brand's previous foldable models.

The P50 Pocket uses Huawei's HarmonyOS, which has been adopted by 320 million devices globally, said Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei's Consumer Business Unit.

OPPO's new Find N, the company's first foldable model, was sold out "within five minutes" on online platforms including JD and Tmall on Thursday.

The model, with 7.1 inch and 5.4-inch dual screens, costs from 7,699 yuan.

Samsung, Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi have launched foldable smartphones. Apple and Honor are still researching foldables.

In 2022, foldable smartphone sales will hit 15 to 20 million units, according to the industry.

With technological developments and a wider user base, the price of new foldable models will be lower than 10,000 yuan, compared with 15,000 to 20,000 yuan previously, according to a research report by the China International Capital Corporation.

OPPO is partnering with five retailers in Shanghai, including coffee shops, bookstores and and fitness centers, to display its foldable models and to woo new consumers.

Foldable smartphones moving from niche to mainstream
Zhu Shenshen / SHINE

OPPO Find N models with big screen features in a coffee shop on Hengshan Road..

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