Samsung first on the foldable bandwagon; Apple to bide its time
An infographic created with data sourced from CGS-CIMB Research and Counterpoint has shown a potential timeline of when major manufacturers will throw their hats into the ring in regard to releasing foldable smartphones. Samsung is first in the queue, with plenty of speculation already surrounding the company’s announced Galaxy foldable. Joining Samsung in the first half of 2019 are Huawei and LG, with the latter apparently working on a device that could end up being called the Bendi.
Moving toward the second half of the year, there is a trio of Chinese companies present: Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo. Oppo is expected to have something to show potential consumers at the Mobile World Congress event in February 2019. Xiaomi has long been rumored to have a foldable product in the works, and Vivo will no doubt come up with something as innovative as the Nex S. Following those three are Motorola and Microsoft, with the timeline now heading into the first half of 2020.
Bringing up the rear and all the way into the second half of 2020 is Apple. This might seem surprising to some, especially in light of the company’s reputation for creating and innovating. But it could actually be a sound business move. There have been forecasts predicting a very healthy market for foldables that might even reinvigorate the stagnating smartphone market, but that's not a guarantee. Also, it will give Apple time to see what works and what doesn’t – to get a better idea of what the foldable-buying public really wants. After all, the firm is renowned for reinvention.
Sony doesn't appear on the timeline at all, even though the company has been linked with a patent that details a foldable phone with a transparent display.