The race to bring a foldable smartphone is on between Xiaomi and Samsung. While both companies have teased what is in the pipeline, Xiaomi has provided further clarification and some background for the device in an official statement.
Provided to LetsGoDigital, Xiaomi details the challenges of developing a foldable display and mentions that is was done in collaboration with its supply chain partner, although it doesn’t divulge who that is. Xiaomi says it is the first in the world to present a double folding smartphone and conducted extensive research to address the challenges of providing three form factors for the foldable device – double folded, single folded, and tablet form. Xiaomi highlights that the innovation to achieve a foldable display was a joint R&D effort between its supplier and the company itself. It emphasizes the statement that a foldable screen cannot merely be turned into a foldable smartphone.
Xiaomi’s Global PR Team official statement: The double folding smartphone is the latest innovation by Xiaomi. One of the key components of the phone, the flexible folding screen, is co-developed by Xiaomi and its supply chain partner. Aside from the screen, its design, folding mechanism and MIUI adaptation are independently developed by us.
Xiaomi is first in the world to present a double folding smartphone and has conquered the technical challenges posed in its three different form factors – double folded, single folded, and tablet form. Prior to finding the best solution, Xiaomi has conducted extensive research and experiments to develop a robust folding mechanism that will allow the flexible screen to withstand mechanical stress.
Each innovation is the result of joint, cumulative R&D efforts from supply chain partners and the device manufacturer. It is misguided to think a folding screen can be easily turned into a folding smartphone without significant breakthroughs in technology. Each segment of the industrial chain has its unique contribution. Xiaomi believes that innovative products and great user experience are made possible with sound collaboration and participation from all parties.
Alongside the statement that provides some valuable context into the background of the resources Xiaomi has put into making a foldable device a reality, the source also published 3D renders it created that showcase how the device could look.
Xiaomi has two names in the pipeline for its prototype – “Xiaomi Dual Flex” or “Xiaomi MIX Flex.” The device has two folding sections that bend backward to wrap behind the phone, which triggers the UI to adapt and make the center of the display the only active portion. The device can then be unfolded into a larger tablet mode, which utilizes the entire screen real-estate making it perfect for consuming media.
For those eagle-eyed readers, you’ll notice a USB-C port at the bottom and a button in the center at the top of the phone together with an earpiece. Presumably, the camera is on the rear of the device, but it’s difficult to tell from the renders. While we’ve seen teasers of the Xiaomi foldable device, a release date is still yet to be confirmed.