We’re now at the crossroads whereby one path is heading towards an even fuller view display with punch hole screens, popup cameras, and even slider phones – yet there is another path to foldable devices. Since rumors about Samsung’s foldable device imminent launch date is the same as the Galaxy S10, it’s just a few days ahead. Other companies are trying also jumping in the bandwagon, albeit not ready for another year.
TCL, the manufacturer for both BlackBerry and Alcatel smartphones, is working on at least 5 devices with flexible displays. CNET reported that according to the TCL’s rendering and patent images, there are at least two tablets, two smartphones, and one more phone that wraps around like a wristwatch.
CNET also reported that a TCL executive has said that they will “release its foldable device in 2020” but did not disclose which device in particular that will be released.
Looking at the rendering, the foldable tablet and smartphone have the same concept – one variant that folds inwards and another that folds outwards. Though, it might depend on how brands like Alcatel and BlackBerry wants their smartphones to fold.
That smartwatch is indeed an interesting one as it does remind me of what the Nokia Morph that was conceptualized more than a decade ago. The patent shows a wristwatch band with the display that wraps around the band, and can be straightened then flattened and be used as a traditional smartphone.
While TCL is one of the companies that have gone ahead and showed off some devices with foldable devices, we expect more of such devices to appear in MWC2019 that is happening end of this month. We are also expecting Samsung to launch its foldable Galaxy device next week.
2019 is surely the year of foldable devices with Samsung carrying the torch. After all, flexible screens are all AMOLED.