China’s Xiaomi unveils its new foldable smartphone

China’s Xiaomi has become the latest company to give consumers a sneak peek of its new foldable smartphone.

Earlier this month, rumours that Xiaomi was working on a bendable phone began to circulate on the internet after the company released a video teaser of their new phone.

And now the company’s senior vice president has confirmed that the rumours were true.

Foldable smartphone

Wang Xiang, the founder of Xiaomi, posted a video of Lin Bin, the senior vice president, using the foldable phone. The video itself was posted on Chinese social media website Weibo.

Lin Bin said the prototype, as showcased in the video, would be available for customers to purchase, but didn’t confirm when.

The video shows Lin Bin holding a tablet-sized phone with a large central panel, and two holding panels on the side. Lin Bin said that the company is still yet to name the device, and asked consumers to help Xiaomi come up with a name for their device.

Xiaomi’s post comes three months after China Royale brought out the industry’s first folding smartphone in October of last year.

The company is the fourth biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world behind Samsung, Huawei, and Apple, according to IDC.

Analysts claim that China Royale’s foldable phone, Flexpai, feels like a “clunky prototype”.

“Stone Age” concept

Ben Wood of UK-based consultancy CCS Insight, said that flexible screen phones, like the Flexpai, feels like a “Stone Age” concept, but said that users showed a strong interest in the device and predicted that flexible phone screens would become more popular in the future.

“It feels like we’re currently in the Stone Age when it comes to products with flexible screens,” Wood said in a research note.  “At CES 2019 we have seen the first very tentative steps toward implementation of a technology that may seem to be a solution looking for a problem now, but is likely to become a pillar of the designs of consumer electronic devices in the future.”

In November of last year, Samsung also revealed unveiled a prototype version of its new foldable phone Infinity Flex, and Huawei is also said to be reportedly working on a folding-screen device, which they claim, will launch later this year.


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