Huawei partnered with Chinese display panel manufacturer BOE on a foldable smartphone project, South Korean outlet ETNews reports, citing industry sources. The device in question is said to be equipped with an 8-inch screen, hence effectively doubling as a tablet, and may not be the only such offering the Beijing-based tech giant has in the works, with insiders claiming BOE is presently likely developing four foldable handsets from two original equipment manufacturers in total. It's unclear whether Huawei has more than one collapsible mobile device in development, though BOE also has a working relationship with LG Display which patented numerous foldable smartphone designs in recent times, together with its sister company LG Electronics.
Huawei itself has been experimenting with such creations for several years now, as previously revealed by Richard Yu, CEO of its consumer electronics business group. Recent rumors are pointing to Huawei launching a foldable handset in the final quarter of 2018, with its creation likely being a refined take on the hinge-reliant concept ZTE commercialized in 2017 with the Axon M. Mr. Yu himself previously disclosed one of the prototypes Huawei came up with was somewhat similar to the Axon M but the company opted against releasing it as it wanted more time to identify a way to reduce the size of the breaking line between the two screens when the device is in a folded-out state.
Xiaomi and OPPO are also said to have been experimenting with foldable handset design over the last several years, hence being another two potential candidates for BOE's rumored partners. Samsung is expected to commercialize its first collapsible Android device in the first half of 2019, with previous rumors pointing to the upcoming offering being marketed as the Galaxy X, though no firm decisions on its official moniker have likely been made yet. BOE attended this week's SID Display trade show in Los Angeles where it showcased a 7.56-inch foldable tablet and a 5.99-inch bendable smartphone, with its WQHD AMOLED panel supposedly being capable of folding some 100,000 times before any material degradation is observed.