Ok, so Samsung has launched its folding Galaxy Fold phone which will go on sale for US $1980 in the first half of this year.
Now comes news of TCL Communication, the parent company of Alcatel, unveiling its "patented DragonHinge technology supporting the company’s future flexible display mobility portfolio" at MWC 2019.
We're told: "Using custom flexible AMOLED displays from TCL sister company, CSOT, these foldable mobile devices are supported by TCL Communication’s proprietary DragonHinge technology which creates a mechanical housing for these devices, allowing them to fold and bend in support of a variety of use cases. This provides effortless and seamless movement, enabling the development of further flexible device designs which will make more advanced user experiences possible."
Peter Lee, general manager of Global Sales and Marketing at TCL Communication, said: "Together with the support of our sister company, CSOT, we’re showing that TCL can be an innovator and leader in the mobile device market of the future.
“When we look at the potential of our flexible device portfolio, we’re obviously very excited about what we’ll be bringing to market down the road. However, we’re not in a race to be the first because we feel it is more responsible to take a patient, thoughtful approach to not only solve hardware challenges, but also work with our partners on software solutions to ensure we deliver a meaningful user experience.”
Shane Lee, general manager of Global Product Centre at TCL Communication said: "When we look at the practical application of flexible display and foldable mobile devices, there are really three challenges that need to be overcome: the flexible AMOLED display itself, a durable mechanical housing, and of course the software that can seamlessly adapt to these new form factors.
“Through TCL’s vertical integration with CSOT, we have conquered many of the challenges that come with flexible displays; and now with the announcement of DragonHinge, we’re able to show the world how we’ll overcome the mechanical housing challenges that must be solved in order to support these new foldable form factors.
"We now have a hardware solution to build from, freeing us up to tackle the unique software experiences this new technology enables, and how it all ties in to the larger connected ecosystem as we prepare to launch our first foldable device next year.”
TCL Communication notes it "will showcase the first DragonHinge concept products this week at Mobile World Congress 2019, with the first consumer-ready devices expected to arrive in 2020".