Samsung and Huawei have both announced their foldable smartphones just days apart. The Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X are just the first two of their breed, with more and more manufacturers planning a foldable smartphone in the near future. OPPO, TCL, nubia, Motorola, and Xiaomi are all in various stages of development for their offerings.
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturers from Taiwan are preparing to welcome the demand that has been created by the segment. The new smartphone form factor requires redesigned PCB layouts in order to accommodate physical changes and specifications.
In building foldable smartphones, manufacturers employ flexible boards, rigid-flex boards, HDI (high density interconnect) boards and SLP (substrate-like PCBs). While there are many OEMs planning to release foldable phones, due to their novelty and high price tag, high volumes are not expected. This is especially true as Apple, despite applying for a patent, has not yet jumped in the ring.