Huawei can’t keep up with demand for its foldable Mate X phone, which lists for $2,417. As a result, the aftermarket is booming: Those lucky enough to get one are reselling them for almost three times their original price. People are nuts.
According to Gizmochina, the Huawei Mate X has already sold out three times in its home country since its launch. Knowing that they are in very short supply, that’s normal. What is less normal is to learn that people are paying two and three times its price in the aftermarket, reaching 50,000 yuan.
Yeah, some people are bidding $7,110 for a first-generation foldable phone that hasn’t been put through its paces yet. With a plastic screen. On the outside.
I think foldables are going to be the next big thing in phone design once they iron out the kinks. But I have to admit I’m surprised with this craziness amongst people with lots of money to burn.
We knew that people were paying double the price for the Samsung Galaxy Fold, with some people paying as much as $4,000 for one in the aftermarket, multiplying its original price tag by two. It doesn’t matter if this first generation phone had some really bad press — people seem to want it badly.
We don’t know yet how the other two big brand foldable phones will do. The Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha — which is not technically a foldable but uses a foldable screen to wrap all around its body — is still not available for sale. Neither is the new $1,500 Motorola Razr, which will be going on sale Dec. 26 online and hits stores in January.
But judging from anecdotal experience in Reddit and other forums, lots of people are really excited about them.
It remains to be seen if the excitement turns into actual demand once it’s time to burn the credit card but, given the outrageous resale price of the Mate X and the Fold, I wouldn’t be surprised if those two follow the same course.
The question here is if this enthusiastic demand from people with American Express Centurion cards will translate into popular demand once the prices go down a little. My instinct says that, once the Razr gets down to the $1,000 level, it will start hurting the Galaxy S11s and iPhone 12s of this world. Without a doubt, the Razr looks like it will be the hot phone to have.
But no matter what happens with this first generation, what seems clear is that foldable phones are probably here to stay.