Chinese brand TCL was among the first to develop foldable smartphones, but as a result, they were all limited to prototypes. Having never released ready-made gadgets to the commercial market, the company decided to postpone it altogether and postponed plans for better times.
As it turns out, the foldable smartphone program, codenamed Project Chicago, was canceled due to financial issues – apparently, TCL was unable to keep prices in the range that they originally planned. It seems that the upcoming “clamshell” was estimated at $ 800, and this despite the fact that the main competitor Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 costs only a couple of hundred dollars more.
“If someone can spend $ 800, they can also spend $1000. They will probably choose a brand that they have known for many years and that they trust more,” said Stefan Strait, chief marketing officer at TCL.
TCL says that due to the ongoing chip shortage crisis, this may not be the right time to go to market, and explained that the decision was made long before Samsung’s Unpacked event. But the company is not completely abandoning foldable devices, it will just wait until they become more affordable. According to preliminary estimates, the project was postponed for 12-18 months.
At the same time, the CNET edition showed a prototype of the TCL folding “clamshell”, which was almost ready for release.