Since the last quarter of 2018, we have seen the preponderance of foldable smartphones. In October 2018, we had the first foldable smartphone, Royole Flexpai. In early 2019, foldable devices from popular manufacturers, Samsung and Huawei, hit the market. Now, we have a long and growing list of foldable devices. Many foldable devices will work better with an ultra-thin flexible glass. The growing need for more foldable devices means that the demand for ultra-thin flexible glass is increasing. According to recent reports, Huawei and Xiaomi have purchased the ultra-thin flexible glass for products with large curvature. These products include foldable smartphones or phones with surround screens.
Ultra-thin flexible glass (UTG) can be said to be the optimized version of the polyimide (CPI) film. The first generation of folding mobile phones (Samsung GALAXY Fold/Huawei Mate X) uses polyimide (CPI) film. However, UTG is more durable, relatively stronger, thinner, and bends more.
Huawei currently has two generations of foldable smartphones. The latest, Huawei Mate Xs uses an ultra-thin flexible glass. In comparison, it is better in all aspects is better than the previous model. Recall that Huawei’s maiden Mate X foldable phone met a lot of challenges before it eventually hit the market.
For Xiaomi, the Chinese manufacturer does not have any foldable phone on its shelf for now. In fact, the Xiaomi Mi MIX Alpha which is not a foldable phone is not even for sale for now. The MIX Alpha is Xiaomi’s 5G concept mobile phone which uses a flexible AMOLED surround screen from Visionox. This smartphone also uses a unique glass bonding technology to make the whole surround screen “plastic sense” greatly reduce.
Huawei and Xiaomi may be working on new foldable devices
At present, there is no news about the next generation of Mate X or MIX Alpha. However, from the latest report that these companies are placing orders for ultra-thin flexible glass, it is possible that something is brewing. The performance of the next foldable mobile phone / surround screen mobile phone will be higher.
Xiaomi fans have been waiting for the company to try its hands on an actual foldable phone that will hit the market. However, foldable smartphone technology is still at its infancy. This means that it will still be very expensive. As we know, Xiaomi does not like its devices t be “expensive” thus it is still skeptical.