Xiaomi may also be working on a foldable phone to compete with Samsung
Many smartphone OEMs these days are working feverishly to shrink the bezels of their smartphones as much as possible. Going as far as to using gears and mechanical parts to tuck away the camera sensor (which I think isn’t as bad as others have made it out to be). However, for the last 3-4 years, these companies have also been working on a long-term project as well. These engineers feel that some type of foldable smartphone in the future and some of these companies have been pouring millions of dollars (or more) into the project. For the longest time Samsung has been very verbal about their plan for their first foldable smartphone project, but this month it looks like they will be facing some challengers. Xiaomi is one of these competitors, according to a news report from etnews just recently.
Samsung had previously announced that they would have a prototype of their vision in the 3rd quarter of 2017 with mass production actually beginning in 2018. That timeline has come and gone and whether that is the fault of management or specific employees is currently unknown. We do know that Samsung has been talking about putting an in-display fingerprint scanner in their flagships for the last couple of years and each time the feature just never made it into the final product.
So we can see how difficult it is for Samsung to hit a deadline on products and features when they announce their timelines so far ahead. It was believed that Samsung would be the first smartphone OEM to have a foldable smartphone available for customers to buy but Huawei recently announced they would end up becoming the world’s first. Huawei is a big company and the report said that supply will be limited due to a lack of foldable displays.
Now, a new report from etnews says that Xiaomi (along with OPPO) is also looking into the technology and could be working on something in their lab. The report says that these companies will be will be taking a different approach to the design. For instance, Samsung and Huawei are said to be working on an in-folding method where the display folds inwards. But Xiaomi is currently testing an out-folding method that would have the two screens facing outward.
They didn’t mention any specifics, but did say both Xiaomi and OPPO are planning to purchase their supply of foldable displays from unnamed Chinese panelists.