While Motorola and Samsung have already released the world's first clamshell foldables in 2020, Xiaomi might not be far too far behind. Last year Xiaomi filed a patent for a flip phone with a foldable display, and reports suggest that the Chinese smartphone maker is indeed working on a foldable phone with Galaxy Z Flip-like design – which it could start producing later this year.
Industry insiders were quoted by ZDNet Korea stating that Xiaomi plans to go with a clamshell-like foldable OLED display similar to the materials used on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 's screen, unlike the completely plastic screen on the Motorola Razr.
Xiaomi plans to source these displays from Chinese companies like BOE and CSOT initially, which both mass-produce folding screens for Motorola, and then switch to Samsung screens, per the report, due to concerns about quality. Xiaomi could potentially turn to LG for foldable screens, the report noted.
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So, what do we know?
Xiaomi is said to be looking for an ultra-thin glass OLED display housed under a thin layer of plastic, similar to what Samsung has used in the Galaxy Z Flip. This flexible display will form the inner part of the phone and will work as a regular smartphone when unfolded.
The old patent files suggest that there could be a secondary smaller display for alerts and notifications, housed on the outer shell of the phone, though we don't know if it's a smaller outer screen like on the Galaxy Z Flip or a large display like on the Motorola Razr.
The company is expected to push this new device into the production lines by the second half of the year. And while it is almost certain that we may see this foldable phone coming out of Xiaomi’s stable sometime later this year or early next year, it is still premature for us to even speculate about the potential specifications of the phone.