Samsung’s Galaxy Fold 2, now leaked to be called the Galaxy Z Fold 2, isn’t the only foldable phone that’s getting a slight name change. Either that or Huawei might be introducing a completely new foldable phone distinct from its Mate X. That phone could be named the Huawei Mate V, at least based on a trademark filing, and its name could hold the clue to whether it will be an outie just like the Mate X or an innie just its Samsung rival.
The letter “V” is almost perfect for denoting a foldable phone though, of course, it doesn’t really indicate which way it will fold. Huawei has favored what is commonly called the “outie” design, where the foldable screen faces outward when collapsed. While the idea has benefits, Huawei may have found it to be impractical in the real-world due to the still-fragile nature of flexible displays.
Huawei was recently rumored to be making a U-turn and will launch a foldable phone that folds inward, pretty much like the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Huawei definitely toyed with that idea in patents and the new Huawei Mate V name it just trademarked could be how it will differentiate it from the Huawei Mate X. Then again, the description is so generic it can be applied to anything, though Huawei as often reserved its “Mate” brand for high-end mobile devices.
That said, there has been very little in the way of rumors to inspire confidence that Huawei is actively working on such a device. What little rumors there has been claim that Huawei is still set to launch its third foldable phone (after the Mate X and Mate Xs) later this year. Given the company’s current situation, that seems almost unlikely but also necessary.
Losing not just access to Google Play Store but even semiconductors for its Kirin processors will be a huge blow to Huawei’s plans for 2020 and beyond. It could set it back by a few months and it might be forced to cut down on unnecessary phone models or reduce its orders even for major ones like the upcoming Mate 40 series. At the same time, launching another foldable phone would send a strong message that the company can not only innovate but also deliver despite all the odds.