Samsung is by now a veteran in the foldable smartphone space, culminating with the company’s excellent Galaxy Z Fold 2. It’s no wonder competitors would look to the company as they look to develop their own foldable devices.
According to The Elec, Samsung is going to supply foldable OLED panels for devices from Google, OPPO, and Xiaomi. All of the panels are expected to be “in-folding,” with sizes ranging from 7.6 inches to 8.03 inches. As of now, all three of these companies are said to be in various prototype stages.
OPPO previously used Samsung Display, BOE, and Visionox as partners to develop an “out-folding” device. But Samsung will be OPPO’s sole partner this year as the latter company looks to develop a clamshell-style device like the Galaxy Z Flip. Xiaomi, meanwhile, is also switching from out-folding to in-folding, and is rumored to be developing a foldable display with an 8.03-inch panel and 6.38-inch outer screen.
The Elec claims Google has also inquired with Samsung about developing a foldable display that’s around 7.6 inches. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors about Google possibly developing a foldable Pixel smartphone. Reports go all the way back to May 2019, when we learned Google was exploring foldable devices.
Incidentally, Apple is also rumored to be prototyping an iPhone that folds. At least one of the devices in testing is said to feature a similar form factor to the Galaxy Z Fold.
Foldable phones are still very niche, but Samsung has shown that they may be the next evolution of the smartphone. The original Galaxy Fold was hard around the edges, but devices like the Z Flip and Z Fold 2 prove that foldable devices are here to stay.
Technology evolves quickly, which means there’s a good chance we’ll see even more sophisticated foldable devices over the next few years. Whether we see one from a company like Google remains to be seen.