Since the last quarter of 2018, we have been witnessing attempts by manufacturers to offer a new format of folding smartphones with flexible displays. In October 2018, we had the first such device in the person of Royole Flexpai. At the beginning of 2019, solutions from Samsung and Huawei also entered the market. Since then, the list has only grown.
Many folding devices will protect the curved screen with ultra-thin flexible glass, and therefore the demand for it is increasing. According to recent reports, Huawei and Xiaomi are acquiring significant volumes of such ultra-thin flexible glass for products with a high level of curvature. We are talking about folding smartphones or devices, “wrapped” in the screen.
Ultra-thin flexible glass (UTG) can be called an optimized version of the polyimide film (CPI). The first generation of folding mobile devices (Samsung GALAXY Fold and Huawei Mate X) used CPI. However, UTG is a more durable, relatively strong, thinner and more flexible material. Huawei currently offers two generations of foldable smartphones. In the latter, Huawei Mate Xs is already using UTG along with other improvements.
Xiaomi has not yet offered the market its vision of folding devices. In fact, the Xiaomi Mi MIX Alpha, which is not a foldable smartphone, has not yet entered the market. The MIX Alpha is a concept flagship that uses Visionox’s flexible AMOLED screen to envelope the casing on all sides. This smartphone also uses unique glass bonding technology.
There is currently no news about the next generation Mate X or MIX Alpha. However, if you believe the message that both companies place orders for UTG, it is quite possible that something is really being prepared. The market attractiveness of the next folding smartphone will be definitely higher.
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