Chinese company Royole Corporation has launched what may be the world's first foldable phone.
The company, which specialises in manufacturing flexible displays, unveiled its FlexPai smartphone on Wednesday (Oct 31) at an event in Beijing.
The device has a 19.8cm screen with a thickness of 7.6mm and can fold in half, which would then split the screen into three separate smaller screens on the front, rear and spine. It weighs 320g, over 50 per cent more than the iPhone XS Max or Galaxy Note 9, both weighing slightly over 200g.
Royole said that the Flexpai had been tested to withstand more than 200,000 open-and-shut movements, meaning it should offer years of use before any damage to the picture, reported BBC.
"It is a historical moment that we have been waiting for years (to see)," said Bill Liu Zihong, 35, co-founder, chairman and chief executive of the company.
He believes the technology will be popular as it caters to consumers who want a smartphone with a large display but is still easy to carry, reported South China Morning Post.
The phone is set to retail from 8,999 yuan ($1,787) to 12,999 yuan ($2,582) and will begin to be delivered in late December, said Royole.
The six-year-old company said it would hold three "flash sales" to consumers in China on Thursday (Nov 1), reported BBC.
BBC said that this launch has caught many industry watchers by surprise as many expected Samsung or Huawei to be the first to sell such a device.
Evan Blass, a reporter with Venturebeat.com, a technology website, tweeted that LG intends to unveil a foldable phone of its own in 2019.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.