TCL is working on many products. The company recently announced three new additions to the TCL 20 Series. The next in line is probably a foldable phone. Depending on the information and images we collect, the device will be flexible. The concept is called TCL Fold ‘n’ Roll. It can be assumed that it will be foldable and rollable at the same time. TCL already has an advantage because it has the hinge design technology and has a CSOT flexible OLED panel business.
The TCL Fold ‘n’ Roll It is a smartphone that can be transformed into a 10-inch tablet. It seems ambitious as TCL doesn’t have a foldable phone on the market yet. There’s the TCL roll-up foldable phone tablet with a dual-fold design that we saw last week. We know that more designs will be introduced this year.
This new TCL Fold ‘n’ Roll combines folding and roll-up designs. It comes with a DragonHinge mechanism that transforms a 6.87-inch phone into a mini tablet with a slightly larger 8.85-inch screen. It can be unrolled further to become a larger 10-inch panel.
The flexible OLED screen has a drilled hole for the selfie camera. There are main cameras on the rear like a normal phone.
The TCL Fold ‘n’ Roll is thicker compared to a standard phone, about 1.5 times. TCL Executive Stefan Streit said: “Flexible displays, including folding and roll-up displays, are the future of the mobile industry.” He added, “We have to be realistic that some of these multipurpose form factors, like this 3-in-1 concept, will take time to mature.”
The concepts are complex, so it may take a while before they are ready for commercial launch. There are several concerns such as possible damage to the external screen. The software that will work is also a question. It can run on Android, but the form factor is new.
TCL has confirmed that it will announce a flex device before the end of the year. It will be the first of the company and in fact they are on the right track. It’s just not clear what the design and form factor will be. It could be a shell, since commerciality is important.
It will definitely be expensive, but it will still be “affordable” commercially. By that, we mean the same price as the Samsung Galaxy S20 / S21 Ultra. If the first foldable or roll-up TCL device is successful, then another can be introduced.
TCL’s CSOT business has also started exploring new designs and applications for flexible AMOLED. TCL can use any project in the future. Hopefully, the panels manufactured by CSOT will also be used in other industries such as automotive and other smart home devices.
TCL does not intend to become the first. It recognizes that it cannot be compared to larger brands such as Samsung or Huawei. Interestingly, TCL has a name in the TV panel manufacturing business being the second largest in the world.