Barely a week after images of the ZTE Axon Multy leaked, reports say that the foldable phone will hit the market only in early 2018. This is surprising because the launch might be just around the corner. The handset could be marketed under the name of ZTE Axon M, AndroidHeadlines reported. It would be the first foldable smartphone for consumer-use, if it launches on the rumored date (October 17). And the Chinese manufacturer would then leapfrog Samsung, which is likely to launch a foldable variant of the Galaxy Note 8 by year-end. Also Read - ZTE Axon 30 5G with under-display camera set to launch globally in SeptemberAlso Read - Samsung Galaxy A22 5G review: Looks fancy, runs fast but too pricey
Reports suggest that ZTE may not have the wherewithal to manufacture the foldable phone in large scale, but it is keen to beat Samsung and become the ‘first’ mobile-maker to come up with the innovative device. The phone is said to have two display panels which can rotate on hinges, and can act as a single tablet-like screen. The unfolded screen would offer an unconventional aspect ratio of 1:1. The smartphone is expected to feature a thickness of less than 10mm in its folded state, according to reports. ALSO READ: Xiaomi could soon launch a foldable smartphone, patent suggests Also Read - ZTE Axon 30 5G launched with next-gen under-display camera: Price, specifications
ZTE Axon M’s other features would include a Snapdragon 820 SoC, a 4GB RAM, a 3,120mAh battery, and a 20-megapixel camera. Besides that, it would also sport a 3.5mm audio jack. The device could come with a price tag of of around $650 (Rs 42,800 approximately). However, confirmed details are yet to emerge. While ZTE is close to announcing the phone later this month, it is not clear why its retailing would take another few months. ALSO READ: Foldable Samsung Galaxy smartphone receives certification in South Korea; expected to release in 2019
The foldable smartphone market, though still niche, is gradually picking up steam as more handset manufactures are experimenting with newer, innovative models. According to Strategy Analytics, companies will ship 13.6 million foldable devices by 2020, and more than half a billion units five years from now. Experts reckon that initial responses from consumers would go on to help manufacturers fine-tune their foldable devices. And such handsets for the future would not be similar to the ones surfacing now or those likely to be released in 2018. “A truly rollable device may be released approximately one year after a foldable one is,” Strategy Analytics states.