Chinese phone maker Xiaomi is seemingly researching a foldable smartphone, according to a newly leaked patent document that was filed in the Far Eastern country. Xiaomi previously committed a lot of resources to earning a reputation for delivering high-quality products at an affordable price and wasn't afraid to try new ideas and smartphone concepts. Xiaomi's research and design departments are set up to react quickly to the needs of their customers and because of the popularity of Samsung's dual-curved displays, Xiaomi's latest release had a bezel-less display. It is no secret that Samsung and many other smartphone manufacturers are working on a foldable phone, one that fits comfortably in your pocket, yet provides the user with a tablet-like display, making it easier to use as a reader, for web searching, or to play the latest games, so it isn't surprising that Xiaomi is now looking to follow suit.
Smartphone design has changed from the old Nokia-style 'candy-bar' phone that eventually morphed into the famous 'clamshell' style phone, then there were 'sliders', and now the industry went back to a large candy-bar smartphone. Samsung has put out a few clamshells recently, but only in Korea, although many customers say they would like Samsung to produce it for other markets as well. While the new foldable phone designs seem similar to clamshell devices when folded, they offer far larger displays than their predecessors. The main idea behind their design is to combine massive screen real estate with a portable body.
While it is almost certain that Xiaomi will continue working on a foldable smartphone, it's possible the company just wants to get some patents filed in case it decide to produce one such device in the future. The manufacturing process and economic feasibility will play a huge part in Xiaomi's decision on whether to commercialize a foldable smartphone. In the meantime, the Chinese tech giant is looking to expand its presence to new markets including the United States and Europe, but is also in the process of diversifying its product portfolio in the Far East, as evidenced by its crowdfunding platform and other similar initiatives.