The Samsung Galaxy Fold has been delayed due to shaky quality control and broken screens. But the hardware failures of the second foldable phone to reach the market hasn’t stopped the success of the first foldable: the Royole FlexPai has sold out.
The phone became available for pre-order at CES 2019, with an estimated delivery of 60 days. That means that it’s taken about roughly a month to sell out.
But, according to tech blog GizChina, the company hasn’t disclosed how many units were sold in this first wave — which launched on the Asian shopping site Tmall. The significant bit, however, is that it has announced that they are already finishing the second batch. It will start selling on May 9 at 10 am. Obviously, they must be very happy with the numbers to keep making them.
The 7.8-inch AMOLED Royole FlexPai starts at $1,340 for the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage version, $1490 for the 8GB/256GB and $1940 for the 8GB/512GB model. While it’s way cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy Fold or the Huawei Mate X, it is still a really expensive phone. Especially when you take into account its bulky size.
Our first impressions of the FlexPai were mixed during our initial hands-on. The flexible part of the design didn't feel premium, and the software was slow to respond. But perhaps the company ironed out these issues--or early adopters are just more forgiving.
This should be good news for Huawei and its incoming foldable, which follows the same outward foldable design as the Flexpai, albeit in a significantly more refined fashion — with a much higher price point to match. What is clear is that, while the Fold has been a fiasco so far, there is an audience for foldable phones.