TCL’s Chicago Project has officially been canceled. For those who aren’t aware, the company had been actively working on its own foldable devices, hoping to compete in the market with Samsung. Most of you already know that Samsung is the current reigning champion in the foldable device market.
But even Samsung’s rise to the top hasn’t been without its trips and falls. The Z series of devices is already on its third generation, and problems plagued the first two generations. This third-generation is far from perfect as well, although I can confidently say it’s good enough for mainstream consumption. But buyers beware.
I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G for the past few weeks, and it really is something different yet the same. Companies like TCL have been working to bring the same technology to their own devices but have failed. TCL points to the costs of development as part of why their efforts have been put on pause. It would have been nice to have seen the TCL device as it was slated to be more affordable than the Z Flip3.
Samsung is a different beast, and they literally have everything, plus the kitchen sink invested into foldable devices and pushed ahead even at great cost. But the foldable screen is here to stay, and companies like LG are working on their own. LG recently announced its “Real Folding Window” material they claim is as hard as glass and could be used for foldable devices.
I expect that TCL, Motorola, and even Apple will be debuting folding smartphones of their own within the next year or two. OK, Apple may take another 4-6 years, LOL. Of course, Samsung has a significant lead and has pushed the market towards a corner, but that doesn’t mean they have it cornered completely. Eventually, the costs will come down enough to where other companies can start experimenting, and eventually, Apple will be happy enough with the technology to work on their own versions.
Currently, though, Samsung is where it’s at, and 2021 is the first real year of the foldable smartphone. The 3rd generation of Galaxy Z phones are certainly the only game in the arcade if you’re looking to play.