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Samsung and Huawei reportedly prep for a new rollable and foldable push

What you need to know

  • Huawei is reportedly in the process of creating a “tri-fold” phone that it may release sometime during the “first half” of 2024.
  • The report states Samsung is developing a “rollable” foldable phone, despite the company stating in 2022 that it has no plans to pursue such a device.
  • OPPO and Vivo have bowed out of the foldable industry due to a “significant” drop in foldable market share, according to reports.

A new report states Samsung and Huawei are ramping up efforts to create new foldable designs amid their competitors waving goodbye.

According to Hankyung (Korean), a Chinese source states Huawei is beginning to “mass produce” a “tri-fold” device, which folds twice to form a “Z” shape (via SamMobile). The source adds Huawei's tri-fold phone features a 10-inch display when fully open.

Speculation suggests Huawei is attempting to simultaneously target the PC and tablet market with this new foldable design. The Chinese OEM is also looking to reclaim the top spot on home soil as it's been dominated by Apple's iPhone.

The source states this new device from Huawei could be released during the “first half” of 2024.

On the flip side, the report states Samsung has been developing a “device with a rollable screen.” However, there are rumors that Samsung could be interested in a tri-fold device similar to what its Chinese competitor is cooking up.

Speaking of China, OPPO and Vivo have reportedly dropped out of the foldable industry. The catalyst behind this decision is supposedly due to a “significant” drop in both respective companies' foldable market share in 2023. Regarding the former, OPPO launched its 2023 Find N3 and N3 Flip globally in October with a 7.8-inch and 6.8-inch internal display, respectively.

That said, neither company has indicated plans to cease foldable development, and the well-received OnePlus Open was co-developed by OPPO, so take that with a grain of salt.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 in flex mode

While there's still little else known about Huawei's supposed tri-fold device, the company reportedly has a new flip foldable on the way. A company insider stated on Weibo that the device goes by the codename “LEM” and that a conference is expected to serve as a showcase and launch for the phone in February. The device is expected to be “compact,” resembling that of the Pocket S from 2022.

The device is expected to be China-exclusive, as well.

For Samsung, the idea of a “rollable” foldable isn't surprising. The Korean OEM showed off such technology during CES 2024 and was simply described as “a unique device.” The company also showed off a prototype for an In&Out Flip that could be folded 360 degrees. However, it remains to be seen if this report proves true for a potential rollable Samsung foldable, considering the company denied having any interest in the idea in 2022.

According to Samsung, there are limitations a slidable phone would face, which would affect the quality of the display's surface. Moreover, the company said it would rather focus on creating good quality foldable phones instead of trying to force a rollable phone to create a new market.

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