Say hello to the TCL Flextab, the company’s answer to the foldable display smartphones from Samsung and Huawei. At this point, we don’t know much about the upcoming smartphone, but a leaked TCL roadmap shows that the foldable display device is scheduled to make its debut in Q3 of 2020 with a price tag which will likely match what Samsung and Huawei will charge for their folding smartphones. The exact sticker price is still up in the air, but the roadmap does show the device listed above the €1,299 threshold.
While TCL isn’t known for high-end devices, the fact that the company is getting into the foldable display business should be very exciting since TCL builds its own AMOLED panels which are significantly cheaper than those Samsung sells to its customers. Its doubtful that the TCL Flextab will be a massive hit, but TCL will likely see a significant overall bump if it’s able to deliver folding AMOLED panels to its customers so that they also can compete with the Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X. Having TCL’s foldable AMOLED panels in the mix would allow prices to drop, making smartphones with alternative designs a lot cheaper and more pervasive among a wider array of device manufacturers.
That being said, TCL’s first hurdle will be delivering the Flextab in a timely fashion and without any major hiccups. Both Samsung and Huawei have had issues with their first-generation foldable display smartphones, pushing back their initial launch dates from the first half of 2019 until later this year. Samsung attempted to launch the Galaxy Fold in Q2 only to see multiple catastrophic failures in the design during the review process. Huawei hasn’t reported any specific issues with the Mate X, but the phone’s global launch has been pushed back to ensure its device fares better than Samsung’s.
It’s still unclear how big the foldable display smartphone segment will grow over the next few years, but we’re excited to finally see now form factors pop up to replace the boring glass slabs we’ve been using these past few years.