Huawei Launches New Flip Phone Pocket 2; Analysts Wonder Why
Wang Zhen
DATE:  Feb 23 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Huawei Launches New Flip Phone Pocket 2; Analysts Wonder Why Huawei Launches New Flip Phone Pocket 2; Analysts Wonder Why

(Yicai) Feb. 23 -- Huawei Technologies' latest clamshell phone Pocket 2 is attracting tepid reception from industry insiders due to its high cost and unclear market prospects.

Shipments of big book-style foldable handsets doubled last year from the year before, as these types of phones are becoming much more popular than their smaller equivalent of flip phones with a horizontal axis, Chen Jun, chief analyst at market research firm Sigmaintell, said to Yicai. Huawei released its small square-shaped Pocket 2 yesterday with four external cameras and a minimum price tag of CNY7,499 (USD1,040).

The global shipments of foldable handsets totaled around 17 million units last year, Chen said, adding that the share of flip phones dropped to about 50 percent from earlier 60 percent as such growth slowed. 

The target group of clamshell handsets overlaps that of normal high-end mobile phones. Moreover, their flexible organic light-emitting diode displays and hinges are pricy so manufacturers hesitate to launch such models, Chen said, adding that this will influence the future direction of development.

A consumer who bought a small flip phone made by a foreign manufacturer last year said to Yicai that the product is small and good-looking but its functions leave room for improvement as the crease in the middle remains visible so she would think twice about buying the item again.

The regional head of a mobile phone retail chain said to Yicai that clamshell devices do not sell well as the phones have a high failure rate, are costly to repair, and no longer are the newest and hottest products so the wow effect is fading. The buyers of these products are mostly women, which also restricts demand, the person added.

An insider at a display manufacturer explained that it needs to overcome more obstacles in making a successful design of a flip phone display as cost control and reliability are usually not as efficient in comparison to screens used in book-style foldable phones.

However, market insiders remain confident about the market outlook on foldable phones in general. Chen from Sigmaintell predicts that the global shipment of foldable handsets will rise by about 38 percent to 24 million units this year from last year. 

Despite the fading clamshell, flexible displays are here to stay and brands will keep innovating. Chen said that the domestic market is expected to welcome a triple-foldable phone with two hinges this year with shipments of around 500,000 units.  

Editors: Tang Shihua, Emmi Laine

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Keywords:   Foldable Mobile Phone,Pocket 2,Huawei,China,clamshell phone,flip phone