We already know that Samsung will be bringing the heat this Summer when it launches the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 presumably in August. However, a new report from DigiTimes suggests that Samsung won’t be the only company bringing more foldable smartphones to the market.
In the report, it’s suggested that Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo will all be launching new foldable smartphones in the 2nd half of the year. But instead of being concept devices, all of these options will be made available for the public. We aren’t sure yet as to what the global availability will look like, but at this point, it doesn’t matter too much.
Xiaomi’s Mi Mix Fold was launched last month, and is priced around $1,600, but is only currently available in China. This undercuts the retail price of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 by $400, but it seems that Samsung has permanently discounted the Z Fold 2 as it can regularly be found for closer to $1,800, if not lower. DigiTimes also suggests that whatever new foldable phone is in the works from Xiaomi will be priced even lower than the Mi Mix Fold, putting pressure on Samsung to lower its pricing.
Oppo has shown off its rollable display concept, but there aren’t currently any devices that have been released with this technology being used. Plus, not much has been shared about Vivo’s potential plans until now, but we still don’t know what a foldable Vivo phone would look like.
When it comes to appealing to the mass market with a foldable phone, there are two key areas that continue to leave people uneasy. The first of which is the price, because there aren’t many that can just fork over $2,000 for a futuristic smartphone. The second area is durability, as we’ve seen with the Z Fold 2 that doesn’t feature an official IP rating, and still makes use of the plastic/glass combination for the inner display.
Rumors point to some of those durability issues being fixed with the Z Fold 3, as the device is expected to receive S Pen support. It’s clear that with the current display, you can’t use an S Pen because of the fact that even pushing your nail into the display will leave a temporary indentation. Huawei’s Mate X2 is the phone that I would LOVE to get my hands on, but it lacks Google’s app suite due to the current U.S. ban. Never mind the fact that it costs a whopping $2,800 before dealing with import fees and all that goes with that.
One thing is for sure, however. The Summer of 2021 could very well end up making this the “year of the foldable”, as even rumors surrounding a potential Google Pixel foldable phone are swirling around. Then, there are the rumors about a potential Microsoft Surface Duo 2 which would include updated specs like the processor, cameras, and 5G support.