After Artificial Intelligence and Dual Cameras, it seems that there will be one more trend to follow next year: Foldable Phones. Smartphone manufacturers are now in a race to build the first commercial foldable Smartphone. Samsung even has a name for it: Galaxy X. Leave Samsung, Microsoft filed a patent at the beginning of this year for a foldable smartphone. The Game is On.
The CEO of Huawei’s consumer group Richard Yu confirmed to CNET that they were working on a foldable smartphone and had a working sample. However, he added the product needs better mechanical design and more flexibility on the screen before the device hit the market.
The concept of foldable smartphones is not new. On May 2011 researchers from South Korea’s Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) unveiled a prototype featuring an advanced AMOLED display that could be folded in half without resulting in a visible crease in the middle. Then Samsung launched a video on YouTube teasing about a flexible Samsung AMOLED smartphone. After developing, they filed a patent in March 2015 for a new generation of flexible devices. In 2016 we got to know about the Galaxy X smartphone After MWC 2017 we got to know Samsung was in the final stages of the development of the device. The handset is expected to release next year.
As for Huawei, they have a lot of things to fix if they want to stay ahead of the curve. Richard Yu said “We have two screens, but we still have a small gap (between the screens). That’s not good, and we should get rid of that gap.” He has high hopes for the company and thinks Huawei will surpass Apple and Samsung to become the biggest smartphone vendor. Huawei is already making the competition tough by launching its Mate series of smartphones. And according to the World Intellectual Property Organization, Huawei filed the second highest number of international patent applications at 3,692. ZTE one of the main rivals of Huawei came first with 4,123 patents while (surprisingly) Qualcomm stood third with 2,466 patents.
One thing mentionable is that ZTE already has announced its Axon M foldable smartphone which will be released via AT&T in the coming months. However, the device is not perfect and has pretty room for improvement ( the gap is there when two displays are joined).
There is currently no news about the unnamed foldable smartphone of Huawei. Richard Yu said “Huawei isn’t ready to launch the device, but it could as soon as next year. ”