Exclusive: Realme’s foldable phone may not be coming any time soon

Realme GT 2 Pro
(Image credit: Future / Jitendra Soni)

Realme has diversified its portfolio and introduced various ecosystem products, including smart TVs, tablets, audio accessories, laptops, IoT devices, and more. Also, while the company is looking to offer more smartphones in almost all price bands, it is not planning to add a foldable smartphone to its lineup soon.

In an exclusive interaction with TechRadar India where Realme’s product manager Shreehari discussed the technicalities of a vapour cooling system on smartphones, he confirmed that the team has been discussing the possibilities of introducing a foldable phone. However, no specific timeline is allotted to adding such a device to the company’s repertoire.

Even though Realme has been among the few brands that have not shied away from introducing new technology to the market and democratizing it, the company feels its target user base might not be ready for a foldable phone. According to Shreehari, Realme’s “consumers are very different from other brands, and their needs are different too.”

We are discussing it, but can't give a certain timeline.

He also feels that the current state of devices with foldable displays don't make them an automatic choice for Realme’s target customers. While he hinted that Realme might not launch a foldable phone soon, the possibilities cannot be ruled out.

High cost could be a deterrent

Though the market for foldable phones has increased exponentially in the recent past, the technology is still in its early stages. As of now, Samsung is the only smartphone maker with a global presence making serious inroads into this segment.

Apart from the South Korean tech company, various Chinese smartphone makers like Xiaomi, Lenovo (Motorola), Oppo, Vivo, Huawei and Honor have launched foldable phones. However, the availability of these devices is primarily limited to China.

Since the technology hasn’t been democratised yet, a foldable phone's upfront acquisition cost is considerably higher than a regular phone. Since Realme’s primarily target user base is limited to budget, mid-range and affordable premium smartphone users, introducing an ultra-premium phone might prove to be a costly experiment.

Also, though other BBK companies like Oppo and Vivo have introduced foldable phones already, this technology is still in its early stages, and issues like the fragility of the foldable display, the prominent crease etc., are proving to be a significant hurdle in the mass adoption of foldable phones.

Jitendra Soni

Jitendra has been working in the Internet Industry for the last 7 years now and has written about a wide range of topics including gadgets, smartphones, reviews, games, software, apps, deep tech, AI, and consumer electronics.