5G is still absent, but Huawei must continue to release folding machines.

Image source @ vision china

Text | Connected Insight, Author | Zhang Fei, Editor | Zhou Xiaoqi

Not surprisingly, but also a little regrettable for digital enthusiasts — — Huawei’s new generation folding machine Mate Xs 2 is still not a 5G mobile phone.

On April 28th, Huawei held the Mate Xs 2 online conference. This is Huawei’s new generation folding screen flagship mobile phone after Mate X, Mate Xs, Mate X2 and Huawei P50 Pocket.

The starting price of Mate Xs 2 has set a new record for Mate series folding screens, and the price has dropped below 10,000 yuan for the first time.In terms of selling price, 8GB+256GB is priced at 9999 yuan; 8GB+512GB is priced at 11,499 yuan; 12GB+512GB collector’s edition is priced at 12999 yuan..

In addition to the price drop, Mate Xs 2 also has new features.

As early as in the warm-up video of the new machine, Yu Chengdong, managing director of Huawei, revealed that the folding screen mobile phone in the past was thick, bulky and not resistant to falling, but Mate Xs 2 solved these problems.The weight and thickness of the fuselage are basically close to ordinary mobile phones, and the fall resistance and firmness have also been greatly improved.

According to the on-site information of the press conference, Mate Xs 2 is still designed with an outer folding screen, just like Mate XS released in 2020. The weight and thickness are close to that of a conventional straight mobile phone, and the weight of the whole machine is 255g.At present, the lightest folding large-screen mobile phone in the industry. This is a major breakthrough of the folding screen mobile phone.

butMate Xs 2 is not equipped with the most powerful Kirin 5G chip like Mate Xs, but a 4G version of Qualcomm Snapdragon 888.Unfortunately, the advantage is that this folding screen mobile phone will at least not be too affected by the chip crisis.

Therefore, before the launch of the new machine, Yu Chengdong confidently said that "the supply of Huawei mobile phones has been greatly improved, and everyone can buy Huawei mobile phones if they want to" and "this is the biggest good news".

Or in order to make up for the regret of 4G chips, Mate Xs 2 is the first mobile phone in the industry to support tri-band Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi dual 5GHz band++2.4GHz band), which can access the Internet at high speed.

Huawei, as the leader of 5G and the track of folding machine, will continue to be active in the folding machine market even if it launches the 4G version of the folding machine equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 for two consecutive times after encountering the black swan ban.

2022 is the "year of explosion" of folding screen mobile phones, and even the "latecomer" vivo has come to an end. All domestic mainstream mobile phone manufacturers have captured the folding screen market, and the war has intensified. Huawei must ensure its activity to stabilize the market.

The significance of listing a new machine is greater than selling the goods itself. Then, there is still no 5G Huawei Mate Xs 2 to attract consumers, and it will take some time for the market to test.

After a lapse of four months, Huawei’s new generation folding screen Mate Xs 2 was launched.

On the eve of the press conference, there was a heated discussion about Huawei’s first folding machine this year, especially Yu Chengdong’s remark that Mate Xs 2 was "an epoch-making big folding screen with many black technologies" in the preheating video.

Finally, at 7 pm on April 28th, Yu Chengdong appeared at the press conference with the long-awaited Mate Xs 2.In the past, the rhythm of the whole conference became shorter and simpler. Only in the first 23 minutes, I finished the Mate Xs 2 folding new machine.Subsequently, a number of other new hardware products, such as the V Pro smart screen, were released one after another.

Although the introduction time is not long, Mate Xs 2 is definitely the flagship product of the conference.

Go around,After a lapse of two years, Huawei Mate Xs 2 once again picked up the folding design and still followed Mate Xs’s folding screen technology.

At present, the mainstream folding screen scheme is widely used by other mobile phone manufacturers. The advantage is that it can protect the inner screen well, and its fall resistance and service life are better than those of the folding screen, but the disadvantage is that creases are easy to appear in the middle of the screen.Folding out will expose the screen, but it can be used as both an outer screen and an inner screen at the same time, making the body of the mobile phone thinner.

So far, Huawei is the only mobile phone manufacturer that has launched a folding screen version of the mobile phone. Therefore, the main promotion point of Mate Xs 2 is the screen.

The folding scheme itself can be thinner and lighter. Mate Xs 2 body is made of ultra-light glass fiber, and innovative materials such as aviation grade titanium alloy and ultra-light and super-strong steel are adopted in the structure, which makes the mobile phone both light and high-strength and toughness — —Mate Xs 2 is close to the thickness and weight of ordinary mobile phones. The thinnest unfolded body is only 5.4mm, only 255g, setting a record for the lightest weight of folding screens.

andHuawei has also made great efforts in screen hinge technology, and pioneered the double-rotating eagle wing hinge.The eagle wing hinge structure is composed of 100+ precision devices, and the unfolded screen is flat and smooth, and the visual experience is almost seamless.

Therefore, as Yu Chengdong said,The highlight of Mate Xs 2 is that it solves the three major pain points of folding large-screen mobile phones: massiness, creases and fear of falling.

In terms of camera shooting, this phone is quite satisfactory. Mate Xs 2 has a 10.7-megapixel super wide-angle camera in front and a three-camera module in rear — — It is equipped with a 50-megapixel primary color camera, supplemented by a 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle, 8-megapixel 3-fold optically variable lens. In addition, there are 10-channel multispectral sensors and laser focusing sensors.

In terms of battery configuration, Mate Xs 2 belongs to the mainstream level of the industry. According to Huawei’s official introduction, Mate Xs 2 has a built-in 4880mAh battery, which supports 66W super fast charging and can charge 90% in 30 minutes. There is no obvious difference with previous generations of folding machines.

It is worth noting that in the whole conference, Yu Chengdong didn’t mention a word about the chip, only the small words "carrying Snapdragon 888 4G" were written in the lower right corner of the PPT that announced the price.

This once caused many netizens to go to social networking sites to ask "Which chip is carried by Mate Xs 2?" And other similar issues.

The reason why Yu Chengdong didn’t mention the processor is self-evident.Haisi Kirin is out of stock., from the last folding machine P50 Pocket carrying Snapdragon 888 has begun to show signs.

As early as September 2020, Huawei can no longer obtain high-end chips below 10nm from chip manufacturers such as TSMC. This means that,As the most powerful chip in Huawei’s Kirin series, Hisilicon Kirin 9000 will become a swan song, and the new machine can only adopt the 4G chip Snapdragon 888.

Although the overall performance of Snapdragon 888 is good, it is already the standard in flagship machine, and its exaggerated power consumption and heat dissipation problems have been complained by many consumers.

In fact, consumers recognize Huawei’s high-end machines. In addition to brand influence, the self-developed Hess Kirin is also the key. Therefore,Many digital enthusiasts regret that Huawei’s new generation folding machine does not use the 5G SoC chip Kirin 9000.

Obviously, the chip has become the weakness of Mate Xs 2.

Yu Chengdong once praised Mate Xs as "Huawei’s best folding screen phone so far". In addition, due to the lack of supply, many people even buy Huawei folding screen Mate Xs at a high price of nearly 100,000 yuan. Whether Mate Xs 2 equipped with Snapdragon 888 can reproduce the highlights of Mate Xs has not been answered.

Or in order to make up for the weakness in communication performance, Huawei has greatly improved the WiFi technology, and Mate Xs 2 has become the first mobile phone to support tri-band Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi dual 5GHz band++2.4GHz band), which can access the Internet at high speed.

However, the pricing of Huawei Mate Xs 2 is unexpected. Previously, many netizens and even digital bloggers guessed that the starting price was not less than 10,000 yuan, but the actual starting price of Huawei Mate Xs 2 was 9,999 yuan.

Under the chip dilemma, Huawei Mate series folding machines have also begun to take new measures: abandoning the positioning of "wealth management products" and lowering prices, so as to stabilize the market and extend the lifeline.

Even if the folding machine is a 4G version, it will continue to be launched, which is a manifestation of Huawei’s current difficulty in maintaining high-end market share. 

Yu Chengdong bluntly said at Huawei’s P50 conference last year that "under the four rounds of sanctions in the United States, Huawei’s 5G mobile phone was restricted, resulting in that 5G chips can only be used as 4G."

Huawei is the first mobile phone manufacturer to launch 5G base stations and 5G flagship mobile phones in the world, and it has the largest market share of 5G base stations in the world. butFor well-known reasons, Huawei’s mobile phone can’t support the 5G function at all, and it is forced to adopt the chip of its former competitor Qualcomm, which makes people cry.

Under the prolonged chip supply interruption, Huawei’s market has shrunk dramatically.

According to the global smartphone market report released by Canalys in the first quarter of 2022, Samsung and Apple ranked first and second in global mobile phone shipments with 24% and 18% market share respectively.

Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo occupy the remaining three seats in the top five.Huawei, which once occupied the first place in the world mobile phone market, has now completely disappeared from the rankings and is classified as "Others".

Huawei, which has lost its mobile phone market share, must stick to the folding machine market in order to continue the "fire" of high-end machines.

Looking back on the development of domestic folding machine brands, Huawei is not only the number one player, but also the earliest "leader" in the industry.

As early as October 2019, Huawei first launched Mate X, a 5G folding screen mobile phone with an outward folding design, which was the first product to truly put the folding screen mobile phone into commercial use.

Because of the limited output, at that time, on the second-hand trading platform, the price of Mate X was as high as 20,000 to 100,000 yuan by scalpers, and it was dubbed "wealth management products" by netizens.

A year later, Huawei released the second generation folding screen Mate Xs, which realized the evolution of folding screen mobile phone from hardware to ecology. Yu Chengdong has repeatedly praised it as "Huawei’s best folding screen phone so far".

In 2021, Mate X2, the third-generation folding machine with the form of internal folding, came out for the first time, and Huawei completed the accumulation process of hardware from testing to maturity. In December of the same year, Huawei P50 Pocket, the flagship of the first vertically folded fourth-generation folding screen, was released.

At this point,Huawei has also become the only manufacturer in China that has mastered three folding technologies and the most complete product sequence of folding screen categories.

Compared with other friends, Huawei tries its best to meet the after-sales maintenance requirements of folding machine users, which makes Huawei’s folding mobile phone have a good reputation.

Besides,Huawei is superior to other domestic folding machine brands in design and materials.

For example, in terms of hinge solutions, Huawei is one of the first companies to invest in research and development of related materials. Mate X eagle wing folding hinge technology pioneered in the industry, to Mate X2 patented double-rotating water drop hinge technology, and then to the vertical seamless folding of P50 Pocket. Huawei has carried out sophisticated design to ensure that the number of screen creases and folds is reduced.

This has enabled Huawei to gain a large number of loyal users.An owner who used Huawei MateX once admitted to the connection Insight: "Except Huawei and Samsung, other domestic folding machines such as vivo and OPPO will not be considered for the time being."

It is worth noting that Xiaomi, vivo, OPPO and Glory all launched their first folding screens after 2021, and there are no second-generation products.

In fact, Huawei’s folding screen mobile phone was once in short supply.Omdia, a market research organization, released the "Tracking Report on the Smartphone Market in the Fourth Quarter of 2021", showing that Huawei ranked second in the sales of folding screen mobile phones, with a cumulative sales volume of about one million.

Therefore,As one of the first players in the folding screen mobile phone market, each generation of Huawei folding screen mobile phones has shown a very high rate of preservation, which can be called "annual wealth management products".

Since the beginning of this year, good news about folding machines has been coming out. Many people in the industry believe that 2022 may be the turning point of folding screen mobile phones. On the eve of the "folding machine" outbreak, Huawei must take action.

However,Huawei’s life is getting worse and worse.With the increasing consumption of Huawei Kirin 9000 series chips, when 2022,When other domestic mobile phone manufacturers, such as vivo, OPPO and Xiaomi, are fiercely fighting in the field of 5G folding mobile phones, Huawei can only helplessly launch 4G folding machines.

At this time node, Huawei launched the folding screen Mate Xs 2, in addition to continuing to participate in market competition and extending the lifeline.The greater significance is to release the signal that "Huawei mobile phone is still alive and will live better". 

However, the outside world has been expecting the return of Huawei’s 5G mobile phone production. Therefore, when Yu Chengdong revealed in the preheating video of Mate Xs 2 that "Huawei’s mobile phone production capacity has returned, and the Huawei mobile phone that everyone wants to buy this year can be bought", the outside world mistakenly thought that the new generation of folding opportunities would break the curse of "one phone is hard to find". The main products of the actual "capacity return" are the hot-selling mobile phones including Huawei P50 series and Huawei nova9 A9 series.

After falling into the vortex of lack of core, the folding machine has become an important life-saving medicine that carries Huawei’s expectations and longings for the high-end market.

This year, domestic folding screen mobile phones have been listed one after another.

Canalys released a report saying that Android manufacturers are facing tremendous pressure in the high-end mobile phone market. In 2021, the shipment of Android smartphones with more than $800 dropped by 18% compared with 2019. In the same price segment, Apple increased by 68% in the same period.

Android manufacturers must invest more in differentiated hardware and user experience and continue to attract and retain high-end mobile phone users.Folding screen has become a new attempt for domestic Android mobile phone manufacturers to hit the high-end market because of its high technical content, large upgrade space and high price.

Therefore,Folding machines have become a necessity for the flagship equipment camp.The mobile phone industry began to involute.

Many digital enthusiasts who pay attention to the folding screen mobile phone market have noticed that on April 22, the day when Huawei officially announced Mate Xs 2, vivo’s first folding mobile phone X Fold was officially launched.

You know, vivo is the last player from mainstream mobile phone manufacturers in China to enter the folding machine. Xiaomi launched the first folding screen MIX FOLD as early as the beginning of 2021. From December 2021 to January 2022, OPPO and Glory successively launched the first folding screen mobile phones OPPO Find N and Magic V respectively.

This means that,Except for Apple, all the mainstream mobile phone manufacturers in China have fulfilled their "folding" dream.And many digital bloggers predict that Xiaomi’s second folding screen will be released as soon as June this year. A competition about folding screen mobile phones has started.

But unlike other mobile phone manufacturers, they are trapped in insufficient research and development capabilities.For Huawei, the biggest problem at present is that it cannot release 5G mobile phones. No matter what grade of new machines, they only support 4G.

The reason behind it,In addition to Huawei’s limited inventory of 5G Kirin chips, Huawei can’t get the necessary RF chips for 5G mobile phones.

After the United States launched the fourth round of sanctions against Huawei in 2021, all supply chain enterprises involved in American technology could not provide Huawei’s 5G communication equipment with parts, including 5G RF chip combination and 5G baseband.

Huawei Hisilicon conquered some components of RF components in its early years, but failed to conquer the core filter.Therefore, when Rongmi OV mass-produced 5G folding machines, Huawei could only continue to produce 4G mobile phones.

At present, 5G mobile phones have not shown obvious advantages over 4G mobile phones, and 4G mobile phones are still available. But after two or three years, 5G mobile phones will be the mainstream.

Even if pollen (Huawei fans) can accept the use of 4G folding machines now, it is really difficult to answer whether they are still willing to buy 4G versions in the future.

In addition,Rongmi OV folding machine not only uses the 5G version as the basic configuration, but also starts low-price competition in terms of price.

After Xiaomi was the first to "beat" the price of the folding screen mobile phone to less than 10,000 yuan, OPPO Find N, the first folding machine of OPPO, once again refreshed the price floor of the same category with a starting price of 7,699 yuan. And each family is crazy about stacking materials, showing "cost performance".

Obviously,Huawei has more challenges to face.

According to the market share ranking of China folding screen mobile phones published by IDC in 2021, Huawei ranked first with a market share of 49.3%. However, whether Huawei, the first company to make a 4G appearance in flagship machine this year, can continue to be the first in the market this year is a question mark for the time being.

Based on the present, trying to survive is still a true portrayal of Huawei at present, and the folding machine is bound to undertake the historical mission of seizing the high-end market.