Cellular companies unveil foldable smartphones

Original article by Mark Niu for CGTN America

The smartphone industry has made great strides in increasing service speed. But when it comes to screen size innovation has been slow. Two cellular companies are trying to change that with a bold, new trend: phones that bend.

At Samsung’s Developer Conference 2018, the tech giant showed off what it said is the future of mobile display technology.

Samsung said its Infinity Flex Display will go into mass production in the coming months.

While Samsung hailed it as a game-changer, just days earlier, it was beaten to the punch by a startup most had never heard of.

Shenzhen and Silicon Valley-based Royole was the first to unveil a commercially available foldable phone called FlexPai.

The FlexPai is also billed as being unbreakable. No damage at all. Bend it and it becomes two smartphones.

“The flexible display, flexible sensors are very, very difficult to make happen. This is totally bendable, flexible and has to be durable, too. Because if you can only bend like 10 times, it’s not a product. You have to like make the device sustainable at least for probably 100,000 times repeated bending, ” Bill Liu, Founder & CEO, Royole said.

The screen is made from plastic. And because it has three different screens, it runs its own operating system called Water, which is based on the Android operating system.

” I think it’s all about apps, if they can get Google Play on there, all the Android apps to work properly even if they are not specifically developed for the phone,” Christian de Looper, Mobile Reporter, Digital Trends told us.
Royole planned to shell out 30 million dollars in grants to help developers create apps for FlexPai’s operating system.

Even with other tech giants like Apple, LG and Huawei all believed to be working on foldable phones, too, Royole said it’s not worried about the competition.

We asked the Bill Liu, Founder & CEO, Royole about Why don’t just sell the technology to the big tech giants and is that something they’d consider or do they really want to go it their own way.

“In the business world, a lot of things happen because the right timing, right turns, right way. There are so many opportunities ahead. We’ll see what will happen. This is just the start,” he answered.

Samsung gave no details on price, while Flexpai’s base model is around $1,300 with shipments expected to begin by the end of the year.

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