Xiaomi seems to be planning to release a foldable phone similar to the Galaxy Z Flip. This information comes from ZDNet Korea, who got some information from the electronics component industry insiders.
According to that info, Xiaomi has requested that Samsung Display supply them with clamshell-type flexible OLED displays similar to the one used in the Galaxy Z Flip.
Xiaomi to use Samsung Display panels to create a phone similar to the Galaxy Z Flip
The source also notes that Xiaomi may source clamshell foldable displays from LG Display as well. ZDNet Korea's source also notes that foldable panels produced by BOE and CSOT don't meet Xiaomi's quality standards.
The unnamed source says that they're of a lower quality compared to panels from Samsung Display, which is why the company turned to that company.
Mass production of Xiaomi's clamshell foldable is expected to begin in the second half of this year. We still don't have any information about that device, however.
This clamshell foldable may become the company's first foldable smartphone, though. Xiaomi already demoed its foldable smartphone a way back, but that was just a prototype, and it never became a reality.
This device will probably have flagship-level specs, or at least something close to that. Based on the provided info, it's possible that Xiaomi already has a design in place.
The company patented quite a few foldable smartphone designs thus far
That means that we may see some leaks in the near future. We did see some Xiaomi patents in the past, patents that could reveal the design of this phone, at least partially.
One such patent was revealed by Letsgodigital at the end of last year. That patent actually showed a clamshell foldable phone with a pop-up camera, and a small secondary display on the back.
Another patent was revealed by Tiger Mobiles way back in March last year. That patent was a lot weirder, though. It was not exactly a clamshell smartphone-type patent, as only about 15-20 percent of its display folds.
We can guess all we want, but the design still hasn't been revealed. It is possible that the phone will take a similar approach as the Galaxy Z Flip, though.
Xiaomi's foldable smartphone is expected to be more affordable than what Samsung has to offer, though. Xiaomi is well-known for its ability to keep smartphone prices in check, even though its new Mi 10 series phones are not exactly cheap.