Foldable phones remain challenging and expensive to make, but the number of manufacturers with a foldable in their smartphone range is slowly growing. Now there's new evidence that Xiaomi could be next in line with a launch.
Code spotted in Xiaomi's MIUI 12 by XDA Developers (opens in new tab) strongly suggests that the groundwork is being laid for a foldable device codenamed Cetus – folding capabilities are mentioned numerous times in relation to the device display.
The code reveals that we're looking at a phone running MIUI on top of Android 11, carrying a 108MP primary camera, and running some kind of Snapdragon processor (most probably a high-end model).
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No other information about the phone is revealed – there's nothing about its size or its release date – but it's one of the biggest hints we've seen so far that Xiaomi has a foldable phone on the way, and it could be arriving at some point next year.
Xiaomi + foldables
If Xiaomi does have a foldable phone in the pipeline, it wouldn't be much of a surprise: we've been hearing rumors about such a device from the Chinese electronics giant for almost two years at this point.
Rumors or not, Xiaomi is a company that likes to stay at the forefront of smartphone innovation, and it won't want the likes of Samsung, Huawei and Motorola getting too much of a head start when it comes to developing foldables.
Earlier this year there was some activity around Xiaomi patents for a device with a screen that bends, and in terms of the device design it had the look of a Huawei Mate Xs – which may or may not be what the finished smartphone ends up looking like.
Considering the mention of Android 11 and the fact that Samsung now has two Folds and a Flip out in the wild, we'd guess that Xiaomi won't want to wait much longer with its own foldable phone – a launch sometime in 2021 is looking likely.