Foldable devices were one of the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show’s biggest themes. Samsung reportedly showcased its foldable smartphone to a select group of VIPs behind closed doors, and LG unveiled a foldable TV. But ZTE was one of the foldable electronics arena’s early players last year with the ZTE Axon M, and company executives told journalists at the conference that it’s not giving up on the technology anytime soon.
In an interview with Engadget, Jeff Yee, vice president of marketing at ZTE USA, said that folks who bought the Axon M “received it very well,” but acknowledged that there was room for improvement. “We’ll eventually get to something that’s truly bendable,” he said. “There’s a lot of others things that we might be adding over time.”
The Axon M was one of ZTE’s flagships in 2017, and it featured top-of-the-line specifications including dual 5.2-inch 1080p displays, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB RAM, and a 3180 mAh battery.
In related news, ZTE announced its intention to bring a 5G smartphone to US sometime in 2019.
If one thing’s for sure, it’s that ZTE has a lot of freedom to experiment with bendable designs going forward. It might cut down the bezels of the Axon M, for example, or create a smartphone that can fold like paper. LG has already achieved that with its TV, and Samsung is rumored to have accomplished the same with its foldable smartphone concept.
It’s clear that ZTE is doing all that it can to stand out in the crowded smartphone market, but whether its efforts pay off remains to be seen. ZTE is still a fringe player in the US, and most of its stateside smartphone business comes from rebranded white box devices on MVNOs like Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless. But if it beats its rivals to the punch with a killer foldable smartphone, its prospects might just improve overnight.