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(Pocket-lint) - Huawei has confirmed again that a foldable smartphone is in development, with plans for a 2019 launch. And that it will also be a 5G handset.

CEO of the mobile business, Richard Yu, previously revealed that a handset with a fold-out screen is in development, potentially an alternative to a traditional laptop.

More recently, he told Digital Trends that it will be one of the company's first to adopt 5G technology: "We are working on foldable phones. Foldable 5G phones," he said.

It follows an interview in September, with German website Welt. In it, Yu explained that foldable displays are coming in the near future: "Why are you still using a computer? Probably because the smartphone display is too small for you. We will change that. It is conceivable that a display can be folded out," he said.

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"We are already working on it. You will not even have to wait another year."

The company had also officially revealed that it will be making 5G phones from 2019 too, although the first will appear under its Honor brand instead.

Foldable displays have been in development at other companies too, with Samsung's first foldable handset also tipped for release next year.

Folding displays have the potential of turning a smartphone into a larger device, just by opening the screen to its biggest size. This will essentially transform your phone into a tablet. You will then be able to fold it up again and fit it in your pocket.

Samsung's version is reportedly called the Galaxy X.

Writing by Rik Henderson.