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True Foldable-Display Smartphones to Come in 2018

by Ken Hyers | Oct 26, 2017

Strategy Analytics’ Emerging Devices practice has published a new report that details the evolution of foldable handsets and dual-screen smartphones and forecasts the growth of these segments. The report anticipates that we are on the cusp of seeing the introduction of a new type of folding-screen smartphone, with the first commercial models being introduced in 2018.

As smartphones have become ever larger, the better to maximize screen real-estate for viewing videos and the web, the devices have become more and more unwieldy. The phablet, once a niche part of the smartphone market, now makes up more than half of all smartphones sold globally. Superphablets (smartphones with displays larger than 6 inches) are forecast to approach 1 in 10 of total global smartphone sales within 5 years.

The steady embiggening of smartphones has led handset vendors to search for new ways to further expand the display size of devices without increasing the form factor, with ZTE most recently introducing its dual-active display folding Axon M smartphone that unfolds to create what appears to be a single large one.

ZTE Axon M

 ATE Axon M

Newly revealed information from Korea’s Intellectual Property Office show that Samsung has recently filed a patent for a single-active display folding smartphone, dubbed by some the Galaxy X.

 Foldable Smartphone

 

 

Strategy Analytics research shows that Samsung, Apple, and Chinese vendors have been developing various folding-display smartphone designs. The major stumbling block has been the durability of the display and its ability to fold and unfold thousands of times without damage. That hurdle appears to have been cleared and we anticipate small volumes of foldable single-display smartphones will come to market in 2018.

Clients of Strategy Analytics’ Emerging Device Strategies practice can read the report Global Foldable and Dual-Screen Handset & Smartphone Forecast: 2010 - 2022 here.

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