Electronics company TCL is pausing its plans release a lower-cost foldable phone this year, the company confirmed in an email to ScienceNews18. Its clamshell-style foldable phone, codenamed Project Chicago, was in mid-development when the company made the decision to put it on indefinite hold. According to TCL the delay is due in part to rising production costs and supply chain shortages.
“Albeit the foldable market is developing every year, it is as yet an exceptional item class,” Stefan Streit, head promoting official of TCL said in an assertion to The Verge. “In mix with late part deficiencies, the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing expenses in foldable creation, TCL has settled on the troublesome choice to suspend the dispatch of its first industrially accessible foldable cell phone until the organization can deliver and put up it for sale to the public at a cost point that is available to however many customers as could reasonably be expected.”
Streit added that the organization is “intently checking the market to decide the best an ideal opportunity to dispatch a foldable cell phone.”
The company gave out a few sample devices to reviewers (looks like MrMobile got their hands on one) , but said it did not have any additional devices available, or any photos of Chicago to share.
The news comes a few weeks after the launch of Samsung’s latest foldable devices: the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 (TCL decided to pause its Chicago device before Samsung’s launch) But both of the foldable Samsung phones are on the higher end of the price range; the Flip 3 goes for $999, and the Fold 3 is priced at $1,799.
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 TCL showed off a Fold ‘n 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 says it’s 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.