Devices

Could foldable smartphones soon be a reality?

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is working on producing a foldable smartphone, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, said in a recent interview. The foldable smartphone could be available as soon as next year, the CEO said. Huawei’s South Korean rival, Samsung, also confirmed that it’s working on a similar foldable product.

Huawei isn’t ready to launch a foldable device just yet, but the company is playing around with the idea, Mr. Yu recently told CNET. “We have two screens,” he said. “But we still have a small gap [between the screens]. That’s not good, and we should get rid of that gap.”

Samsung’s mobile chief DJ Koh also said in September that the company is planning to launch a foldable Galaxy device in 2018, featuring a bendable display. However, the Samsung executive admitted that Samsung, like Huawei, is facing technical difficulties in manufacturing the device.

"We don't want to just sell a couple of the phones. We want it to be mass-ready and at a technological level where people will say it is a well-made phone,” Koh told ZDNet.

Whether or not there would be strong demand for a foldable smartphone, there’s no denying it would be cool – and useful. That gives Samsung, Huawei, and other companies incentive to try out new foldable smartphone ideas and see whether customers will find them useful.