- Vivo and Transsion are said to be developing rollable smartphones.
- Both companies are expected to launch rollable devices in the second half of 2024.
- Chinese phone manufacturers are looking to challenge Samsung with the rollable phones concept.
Vivo and Transsion are reportedly working to launch the world’s first-ever rollable smartphone in the consumer market. The foldable smartphone segment has been growing rapidly, and the rollable phone concept is expected to be the next big thing in the mobile market.
Transsion is the parent company of Tecno and Infinix. Last month, Transsion showcased a rollable smartphone at IFA 2023, named Tecno Phantom Ultimate. Vivo has also been spotted with multiple patents for a rollable phone.
Vivo and Transsion Gear Up for Rollable Smartphones
Korean publication The Elec has reported that Vivo and Transsion could soon launch their rollable smartphones. Chinese OEMs are expected to launch the world’s first rollable device in the second half of 2024.
As per reports, Shenzen-based company CSOT (China Star Optoelectronics Technology) has been actively developing double-slide OLED panels. The design of these display panels is similar to sliding windows, which can be stacked adjacent to each other. The same concept is being implemented to develop rollable smartphones.
The screen size of a rollable smartphone can be increased or decreased by pulling the edges, just like a paper scroll. The device does not fold into two parts, as seen in the current generation of foldables.
*Official Unveiling* Unroll into tomorrow with TECNO PHANTOM Ultimate: the rollable concept phone to reveal new possibilities and give you a sneak peek into the future today!#RapidExtension #UltraSlimDesign #DoubleSidedScreen pic.twitter.com/A9fBXomZ7m
— tecnomobile (@tecnomobile) August 31, 2023
Transsion has already developed a rollable smartphone, which was showcased at the IFA 2023 Event in Berlin last month. The company presented the device as a concept phone and codenamed it Tecno Phantom Ultimate. However, the company did not announce any plans to launch the device in consumer markets.
Vivo has not yet displayed its rollable phone. However, the company has been filing patents for rollable devices for over two years now. Industry experts have also reported that the company is developing its rollable phone behind closed doors, and is soon expected to show a glimpse of it to the world.
CSOT is said to be the supplier of rollable OLED panels for Vivo. Currently, CSOT and Samsung are the only two players developing the rollable technology, with BOE trying to catch up with them.
Hard To Beat Samsung, Chinese Companies Explore Other Concepts
The Elec has reported that Chinese manufacturers are finding it hard to compete with Samsung in the foldable smartphones segment. Since the launch of the original Galaxy Fold in 2019, Samsung has been leading the foldables market and recently launched the fifth generation of folding phones with the Galaxy Z Fold 5, and the Z Flip 5.
Given the expertise of Samsung in this sector and the high cost of R&D in foldable devices, Chinese OEMs are reportedly looking into new areas to expand their portfolio. The rollable smartphone concept is expected to be the next big innovation in the smartphone space. Companies are reportedly more focused on entering this new segment, rather than colliding head-on with Samsung in the foldable market.
Although Samsung is the market leader in folding phones, they were not the first company to launch a foldable device. The world’s first foldable device was Flexpai, launched by the China-based company Royole in 2018. However, due to a lack of brand recognition, the device recorded poor sales numbers and could not go mainstream.
Within a year, Samsung launched the Galaxy Fold which instantly gathered the attention of the world. The brand value of Samsung helped people trust this new concept phone and became an instant hit. Samsung quickly followed it with the Galaxy Z Flip, after which the company started recording significant sales numbers for its foldables.
A few weeks back, Samsung received record-breaking 1 lakh pre-bookings for the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Fold 5. The company also saw a 70% increase in pre-booking for its latest foldable in South Korea. These numbers clearly reflect that Samsung is a trusted name in the foldable segment among the mass audience.