Back in 2019, TCL had shown the world how it plans to enter the foldable smartphone market. The company had shown a prototype of a foldable device that unfolded two times to become a massive 10-inch tablet. Since then, the company has time and again demonstrated different types of design of devices with which it plans to offer to consumers.
However, it appears that TCL’s plans to enter the foldable smartphone market have hit a snag as TCL’s chief marketing officer Stefan Streit has confirmed that it is suspending the launch of its first foldable phone for a year.
“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,” said Streit as per Android Authority.
A report by CNET states that Streit has said that “this category is really, really important” for the company and its decision to not go ahead and launch its foldable handset was based on several “commercial” factors that include weakness of its brand, expensive components because of the pandemic and lack of carrier support.
The report also added that Streit believes that market conditions need to improve before the company launches a consumer device as foldable phones are not yet ready to be adopted by mainstream users. “We feel like this … is the better time for TCL to then launch something which … hopefully brings it into more mass-market segments,” Streit said.
According to him, the market will be ready for a lower-cost foldable in late 2022 or early 2023 — which is when Apple is also rumoured to unveil its first foldable iPhone.