The folding smartphone market is set to expand later this year with news of Samsung Display securing production contracts for folding panels from Google, Vivo, and Xiaomi.
As TheElec reports, Google has ordered a 7.6-inch folding OLED panel from Samsung, which is expected to be used in the "Pixel Fold" smartphone. Google will apparently reveal its first folding phone at some point in the fourth quarter this year, but it's unclear when it will go on sale. Samsung intends to start production of the required panel in October.
As The Verge reports, Google has been working on folding devices for a number of years and actually filed a patent for a foldable display back in 2018. Then in 2019, Pixel phone lead developer Mario Queiroz told CNET the company was experimenting with foldable phones. However, it seems Google decided to work with a company already producing folding displays for its first foldable phone rather than go it alone, but Samsung could be using Google's patented design for this 7.6-inch panel.Samsung Teases Future Folding and Sliding OLED DevicesGoogle Doesn't Care How Much We Want Pixel 6 NewsSamsung Develops a 'Stretchable Electronic Skin' OLED Display
Samsung is also expected to produce an 8-inch main display for Vivo's folding phone starting in October, which will also have a 6.5-inch outer display provided by BOE. A similar deal has been struck with Xiaomi, with Samsung providing the main folding display for the company's follow-up to the Mi Max Fold, which launched back in April.
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