The companies Xiaomi, Google, Oppo and Vivo, may introduce foldable smartphones to the market this year. What these devices will look like exactly, is not yet clear.
The rumours originate from a report by Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC). The report identifies ten developments that the consultants expect in the field of displays. Most of the insights focus on expected supply and demand of different types of display panels.
One of the predictions focuses specifically on folding screens with Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG). Last year, the organisation correctly predicted that this glass would be the most popular way to protect folding displays. It wasn’t a very bold prediction, as Samsung used it for the Galaxy Fold 2, which holds the vast majority of the market share of folding smartphones.
DSCC expects UTG to be up more widely used in 2021, including by some new companies that intend to make foldable phones. Interestingly, these are companies that had not previously been mentioned in rumours about folding phones: Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Google.
According to DSCC, each of these companies will release at least one foldable phone that uses UTG. Xiaomi is even said to be working on three models: one that folds outwards, one that folds inwards and a clamshell model. However, the latter two would not use a panel from Samsung, but one from SDC.
The market for folding smartphones is still quite young. Several concepts have been developed, but only three models have actually entered the Western market: the Samsung Galaxy Fold, its successor, and the Motorola Razr.