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A tri-fold Huawei smartphone could be coming soon


It's kind of surprising that the market is rife with foldable phones right now. It has become a mainstay despite initial impressions that it would be a gimmick. Now it looks like Huawei could be taking things further in the coming months with a new tri-fold smartphone.


This is according to a post on X by @Tech_Reve. They claim that Huawei could launch a tri-fold smartphone in the second quarter of 2024. Huawei is no stranger to foldables and we've actually heard rumors that they could be planning a tri-fold smartphone.



The details about the handset are scant at the moment. If a Q2 launch is true, we should have more updates soon. The rumors are claiming that it could be a 10-inch device, meaning that it will more closely resemble a tablet than today's foldables. The post also claims that Samsung is in the race for their own tri-fold smartphone, so it remains to be seen who will be able to launch it first.


Samsung possesses the advantage of not being burdened by US sanctions, but Huawei can still tap into huge markets in China and the rest of Asia. What's interesting is that the tri-fold design seems to have caught the interest of many. A few years ago, OnePlus filed a patent for such a smartphone.


The company ultimately went with the OnePlus Open, but who knows, maybe if the tri-fold design picks up, OnePlus could make it a reality as well.

A new affordable Huawei foldable phone could debut next month


The last time we saw a Huawei foldable phone was back in 2022. This came in the form of the Huawei Pocket S, the more affordable successor to the Huawei P50 Pocket. After taking a break for a year, Huawei could be back next month with a brand new foldable handset with a clamshell form factor.


It is unclear what name this new phone will adopt, but based on the Weibo report, it bears the "LEM" codename. It is also rumored to use Huawei's own 5G Kirin chipset, but we're not sure if it will be the same 5G chipset found in the Huawei Mate 60 Pro.


The report also claims that Huawei is planning to position this new foldable phone like its Nova series of mid-rangers. This suggests that it might actually be somewhat affordable. The Huawei Pocket S, while cheaper than its predecessor and competition, isn't exactly "cheap". If Huawei can bring the price down further with this model, it could be quite an attractive option.


Samsung is also exploring options for creating cheaper foldables, according to the rumors. One of the reasons is because of Chinese OEMs who already have more affordable alternatives, causing the company to lose market share in China. Unfortunately, due to the situation in the US, we doubt we'll be seeing this new Huawei foldable launch outside of China or Asia anytime soon, but it will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Huawei P70 flagship line rumored to be equipped with a new 5G Kirin chipset


Huawei stunned the tech world back in August when it announced the Mate 60 series. The line was Huawei's first phones in three years to be powered by a 5G Kirin chipset designed by Huawei. The chip was built by China's largest foundry, SMIC, and was manufactured on the latter's 7nm process node. It was a shocking announcement considering that U.S. sanctions seemed to prevent Huawei from producing or obtaining application processors (AP) that support 5G.


The U.S. had given Huawei permission to power its previous flagships, like the P50 series (2022), Mate 50 line (2022), and the P60 line (2023), with Snapdragon chipsets that were modified not to support 5G signals. So when the Mate 60 series was unveiled with the 7nm Kirin 9000s 5G chipset, U.S. lawmakers and officials went berserk, and Chinese consumers were overcome with waves of nationalistic pride.


The next flagship series due from Huawei is the P70 line. The "P"-series is known for its focus on photography (pun NOT intended). According to Weibo leaker Smart Pikachu (via HuaweiCentral), the series will be powered by a new chip called the Kirin 9010 designed by Huawei's HiSilicon semiconductor unit. The chip has not been officially announced and those with long memories might recall that three years ago, Twitter tipster @RODENT950 said that despite the U.S. export ban preventing Huawei from receiving cutting-edge chips, the company was going to obtain 3nm Kirin 9010 SoCs designed by Huawei's HiSilicon unit.


 Huawei P70 flagship line rumored to be equipped with a new 5G Kirin chipset


We know that this rumored 3nm chip was never built; the first 3nm chip for smartphones was the A17 Pro AP made by TSMC that runs the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Since Huawei cannot deal with any foundry able to ship 3nm chipsets, it is unlikely that if the Kirin 9010 SoC powers the P70 line, it will be made using the 3nm node. China's SMIC foundry cannot produce chips with a node under 7nm at this stage.


The Kirin 9010 name received a trademark in 2021 and it is possible that Huawei is simply just now able to use the name for new 7nm chips made by SMIC. China's top foundry will surely work on ways to build 3nm chips, but until it can come up with a way to get around the ban on shipping extreme ultraviolet lithography machines to China, we won't see Huawei get its hands on 5nm or 3nm silicon unless its from an old stockpile from before the U.S. sanctions were announced.


For example, there are reports that Huawei's new laptop is equipped with the 5nm Kirin 9006C chips. But these were made by TSMC prior to the announcement of the U.S. chip sanctions against Huawei and were found in the manufacturer's stockpile of unused chipsets.


As for Huawei's upcoming flagship series, the P70 ART is rumored to sport an ultra-wide camera backed by a one-inch type sensor and carry a lens made up of one glass element and six plastic. The company is also rumored to debut its own image sensors with the P70 series which is expected to be unveiled in March.

Huawei's Kirin is among the world's top 5 chipmakers, Google's Tensor has not yet been granted a seat


Those who absolutely detest Huawei will not be happy to learn that the Chinese player has achieved another success after the release of the hit Mate 60 Pro which sold like hotcakes in its homeland (a research company claimed that Huawei sold 1.6 million of the Mate 60 Pro in just six weeks).


After years of US sanctions and problems, now Huawei's Kirin is among the top five global chipmakers (via Gizmochina).


According to a Q3 2023 report by Counterpoint Research, chip maker Hisilicon (owned by Huawei) now holds fifth place with a 3% share of the chipset market globally. Of course, that's on the 2023 Mate 60 series that packed the 5G-enabled Kirin 9000s chip and sold like crazy.


More devices like the Mate X5 foldable phone and MatePad Pro 13.2 tablet have also received positive feedback from users in China, laying the ground for 2024 and the mid-range Nova 12 series, which will also pack Kirin processors.


The other players

Qualcomm. That's the chipmaker company you've been expecting to see as "numero uno", and they retain their dominance with a 40% market share. Apple follows behind in second place with a 31% share, driven by the iPhone 15 series. The bronze is reserved for MediaTek with a 15% share, and Samsung is fourth with a 7% market share. After Huawei, Unisoc comes in at sixth position with a 2% market share and Google's Tensor SoC has also secured a 1% market share while ranking seventh on the list.

Huawei Teases Global Tablet Launch this December


While Huawei's presence in the west might have somewhat diminished in the past few years, the Chinese tech giant has nevertheless remained consistent in its global product launches. Case in point, the company recently teased an upcoming product launch for December 12, 2023, which should give Huawei fans and loyalists something to look forward to this Christmas season.


Based on a post shared on the company's social media page, it looks like Huawei will soon be launching a global variant of the MatePad Pro 13.2, a tablet which at the moment is exclusive for Chinese markets. The device comes with specs such as a 13.2-inch OLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate, a custom Kirin SoC, and a sleek metallic build.



For software, the China variant of the MatePad Pro 13.2 comes with Harmony OS, Huawei's very own take on a custom Android skin. At the moment, Huawei hasn't revealed anything about the device's price and regional availability for example, but we're bound to know more on December 12.


The MatePad Pro 13.2 joins the likes of other Huawei devices such as the Watch GT 4, which made its debut this year.

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