The world's first foldable smartphone may be commercialized as early as next month and come in the form of a ZTE-made device codenamed the Axon Multy, Android Authority reported on Wednesday, citing a source familiar with the Chinese company's plans. The handset could be marketed as the ZTE Axon M or bear an unrelated moniker, with the firm reportedly equipping it with two Full HD panels which can form a 6.8-inch screen with a resolution of 2,160 by 1,920 pixels when the device is completely folded out. Such a resolution would amount to an extremely unconventional aspect ratio of almost 1:1, allowing the phone to transform into a squarish tablet of sorts.
The two-screen device may be unveiled on October 17, which is when the Shenzhen, China-based original equipment manufacturer is holding a product event in New York City. While the firm hasn't mentioned any specific devices in regards to the upcoming happening, a dedicated event implies the launch of a high-end product as ZTE's entry-level and mid-range offerings aren't traditionally launched in such a manner in the United States. The fact that the reveal itself is happening in New York City is also a strong indicator that the ZTE Axon M is bound for a stateside release, whereas its unique design may also point to a version of Google's operating system that it's running; with the aforementioned source claiming that the device will be designed for using two apps simultaneously by displaying one on each screen, Android 8.0 Oreo seems like the most logical choice for ZTE, together with all of its multitasking improvements that Alphabet's subsidiary introduced this summer.
The vague description of the ZTE Axon M seems somewhat reminiscent of the Galaxy X, Samsung's foldable smartphone that's been rumored for over a year now. The South Korean consumer electronics manufacturer was widely expected to be the first to commercialize such mobile devices and ZTE beating it to that goal would be a somewhat surprising turn of events, especially since Samsung's yield problems supposedly pushed the launch of the Galaxy X to 2018. If ZTE successfully manages to deliver a foldable device meant for the mass market before Samsung does, such a development would likely help the company promote its unique offering and possibly seize some unexpected sales from other OEMs in all parts of the world this holiday season.
Update: It's still unclear whether the two images that can be seen below are illustrative in nature or are supposed to be leaks but there's a chance they depict the ZTE Axon M(ulty).
Update: Nirave Gondhia of Android Authority clarified that the two images are indeed meant to be the leaked depictions of the ZTE Axon M(ulty).