Huawei has disclosed its 5G device roadmap for 2019, giving us insight into its device-centric plans as it goes all-out against established smartphone giants such as Apple and Samsung. The roadmap, which was revealed at the recently concluded Huawei Global Analyst Conference, details the 5G-enabled hardware launches that the company plans on hosting through 2019, beginning with the Huawei 5G CPE Pro wireless router launch in June. However, the more notable point here is the launch of the Huawei Mate X, the foldable smartphone from Huawei that was also the world’s first 5G foldable device.
According to the roadmap, the Huawei Mate X will be launched in July, and we expect the launch to be a global one. Huawei’s foldable smartphone employs a fundamentally different design in comparison to the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which has recently run into hot waters. While Samsung seeded out review units to technology journalists across the world, reports started flooding in of the foldable display getting damaged very easily. While the issue was later pinpointed to the respective users removing a protective film, Samsung has postponed the commercial launch of its uber-expensive foldable smartphone as the potential for damage to the display persists big time.
This marks an opportune moment for Huawei, as it now intends to cash in on the gradual excitement around foldable devices. Furthermore, Huawei has the advantage of its device being 5G-ready, which adds a layer of future-proofing over its competitor. While 5G networks are still far away from affordable, commercial deployment, Huawei is going strong in its push for mainstream 5G devices. Alongside the Mate X, the company has also revealed through its roadmap that it will launch a new 5G smartphone in October. Given that the company has already launched the P30, speculations suggest that this device might be its flagship under the Mate series, most probably the Mate 30.
Huawei will also be launching a 5G-enabled portable mobile hotspot device prior to a new 5G smartphone, with the launch earmarked for September 2019. This shows serious intent from the Chinese electronics giant, which also happens to be one of the leading makers of 5G infrastructure equipment. Huawei has also eyed meteoric expansion of its smartphone shipments going forward, with a goal of 250 million units shipped for 2019 as it eyes the global number one spot in smartphone shipments.
However, Huawei has also been regularly slammed with allegations of data surveillance, which the company has vehemently denied. It remains to be seen how Huawei’s 5G device roadmap eventually pans out. The company has the financial and infrastructural muscle to pull off its launches in time, but the possibility of legal obstructions in light of data collection practices might be a bit of a concern for Huawei in the long run.