TCL won't release foldable phone in 2021, says report

TCL won't release foldable phone in 2021, says report
Consumer electronics brand TCL is reportedly pausing its plans to release a lower-cost foldable phone this year.

In an email to The Verge, the company confirmed that its clamshell-style foldable phone, codenamed Project Chicago, was in mid-development when the company decided to put it on indefinite hold.

According to TCL, the delay is due in part to rising production costs and supply chain shortages, the report said.

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"Although the foldable market is growing each year, it is still a premium product category," Stefan Streit, chief marketing officer of TCL was quoted as saying.

"In combination with recent component shortages, the Covid-19 pandemic and rising costs in foldable production, TCL has made the difficult decision to suspend the launch of its first commercially available foldable smartphone until the company can produce and bring it to market at a price point that's accessible to as many consumers as possible," Streit added.


Streit added that the company is "closely monitoring the market to determine the best time to launch a foldable smartphone".

TCL showed off a few foldable prototypes last year, and again earlier this year at CES 2021, as well as a "rollable" screen design.

In April, the company showed off a Fold an Roll device that could expand from a 6.87-inch phone screen to become an 8.85-inch phablet or a 10-inch tablet size.

The company said it is not giving up on the foldable product category but doesn't have a time frame for when its first foldable device may be commercially available.

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