TCL has been experimenting with foldable phones for a minute now, showcasing a few prototypes here and there and demoing them earlier this year. Now a new demo has leaked, showing a proposal for a rollable display device. They aren’t the only ones doing this, as Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei all have similar patents.
LG is the only one that actually applied it to a TV set, that can be rolled up like a yoga mat. The main problem of foldable phones is that they can’t properly and totally fold without breaking. A rollable screen is able to wrap around a core cylinder or be pulled by two cylinders when you’re not using it. It can also shrink the device size significantly. Ross Young distributed a video from Fold Universe, showing some of the new TCL prototypes. One of them has a 4.5 inch screen, which can expand into a 6.7 inch panel.
Two models were showcased: one that can expand in length and one in width, becoming a sort of tablet. The new technology may debut in 2021 and eliminate some of the fragility of the current foldables. LG had problems with rollable screens for 3 years, only launching its first rollable screen TV this year. It’s also going to be very pricey to implement and require a very hard to maintain production line. TCL is a huge name on the TV market and they also had Alcatel and BlackBerry under their wings for a while.
It would be nice to see this player proposing a new foldable format, which may stimulat the likes of Huawei, Xiaomi, Samsung to react and launch something even better.