Two of the most conspicuous innovations relating to smartphone design over the last couple of years have been the advent of foldable smartphones — of course! — and the use of pop-up cameras to enable bezel-less screens. While the latter trend has become somewhat less popular in recent months, one of Xiaomi’s upcoming phones may be poised to marry the two design concepts.
As XDA Developers reports, Xiaomi is among the first smartphone makers to take Samsung up on its offer of using its ‘Ultra-Thin Glass’ technology as the foundation for their own foldable phone aspirations. Citing sources in the components industry in Korea, ZDNet Korea reveals that the Chinese giant is turning to its Korean rival in a bid to source flexible displays for an upcoming clamshell smartphone.
The report goes on to suggest that due to a lack of supply from Samsung Display, Xiaomi will initially be looking to buy its foldable displays from Chinese firms BOE and CSOT, both of which were responsible for the foldable display found on the Motorola RAZR. As Samsung ramps up its production of the foldable displays, however, Xiaomi plans to switch to the Korean display maker on account of its superior quality.
Indeed, patents awarded to Xiaomi (via LetsGoDigital) all the way back in December of last year show the company has been experimenting with the form factor for a while, even putting its own spin on things and setting its design apart from the Galaxy Z Flip and the Motorola RAZR with the use of a pop-up front camera.
Whether this particular design materializes is anyone’s guess — tech companies regularly file patents for products they never develop — but given the increasing interest in foldable phones and the positive reception of the Galaxy Z Flip, Xiaomi is almost certainly going to bring a foldable phone to market sometime this year, if not in 2021.