Phone makers including Samsung and LG have been working on foldable phones with flexible display for the past few years. But so far the closest thing to hit the streets is last year’s ZTE Axon M, which only folds in half because it has two separate displays (and a big line that runs down the middle when the phone is unfolded.
But it looks like we could see the first folding phone with a single, flexible display by the end of the year.
ET News reports Huawei plans to launch the first foldable phone in November.
There aren’t many other details available yet, but according to ET News, Huawei has signed non-disclosure agreements with several technology partners working on components for the upcoming phone… which apparently didn’t stop them from talking to the press.
The phone is expected to fold inward when it’s not in use, allowing you to effectively close the phone like a book. Samsung, meanwhile, is rumored to be working on a phone that bends outward, which means that when the phone is folded the displays would be visible on the front and back.
ET News doesn’t have any details about the phone’s specs, how much it will cost, or whether it will be available internationally at launch.
Huawei is based in China but the company sells its phones around the globe… although no US wireless carriers currently offer Huawei devices, which mans that customers in the US typically have to pay full price for an unlocked phone rather than getting a carrier subsidy or financing plan. That makes Huawei’s mid-range and budget phones a lot more attractive in the US than the company’s high-end devices. I suspect even if Huawei does bring a folding phone to the US market before Samsung, it’ll be an expensive device that will only appeal to a niche market of early adopters with money to burn.