Vivo entered the foldable smartphone segment in April last year with the launch of the Vivo X Fold. The company followed up with the Vivo X Fold 2 with improved cameras and new internals. The Chinese smartphone brand is now looking to dip its toes into the rollable phone segment. Both Vivo and Transsion Holdings are reportedly working on slideable phones intending to launch them as early as the end of next year. The latter already previewed its slideable handset named the Tecno Phantom Ultimate in September last year. Vivo and Transsion are expected to beat Samsung in the race to release the first rollable phone.
As per a report by the Elec, both Vivo and Transsion Holdings are gearing up to unveil the world’s first rollable screen smartphone. The report quoting industry insiders notes that the handsets will debut by the end of the coming year. The rollable handsets will have a partially expanded screen and their screens will be capable of extending or shrinking with the press of a button.
If Vivo or Transsion manage to launch handsets with the rollable display form factor in 2024, they would surpass and grab some of the market share for rollable display handsets from Samsung, which is currently leading the way in the foldables market.
Transsion Holdings, which owns brands including Itel, Tecno, and Infinix, showcased its Phantom Ultimate prototype with a rollable display in September last year. At the tap of a button, the phone’s 6.55-inch display starts to expand to 7.11 inches, with a form factor of a small tablet. The Tecno Phantom Ultimate packs a low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) rollable display made by CSOT. The 7.11-inch display claimed to have a 1,596×2,296 resolution and a pixel density of 388ppi.
Other prominent handset makers including Motorola, Samsung, LG, and TCL announced similar concepts in recent years. Motorola showcased a rollable Rizr concept at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2023). Samsung also previewed its prototypes at CES in January. Samsung’s Flex Hybrid concept has simultaneous sliding and folding capabilities and it can switch between 10.5-inch and 12.4-inch screen sizes when opened. LG, which shut down its mobile phone business in 2021, unveiled the world’s first rollable smartphone at the CES 2021. Oppo has also made a rollable phone concept with a 6.7-inch screen that can transform into a 7.4-inch mini tablet-sized display.