TCL unveils its trifold concept, a foldable with two folds

That headline is a mouthful – how many times do you need to repeat “fold”?

We were meant to see TCL’s new foldables at Mobile World Congress, which was unfortunately cancelled. But now we finally see what they had up their sleeves – an interesting foldable concept that has two hinges. It means you would now have a smartphone the thickness of three phones that unfolds into a full 10-inch tablet.

Read: Track the spread of coronavirus using this live dashboard

As per usual, don’t expect this product to come to market in the current form or anytime soon, for that matter. But the idea here is certainly an interesting angle on the foldable trend. We are still not sure what kind of product or foldable form factor people want in this space.

The Galaxy Fold posited that we need a foldable the size of a smartphone that unfolds into a small tablet. The Moto Razr and Galaxy Z Flip posited that we need a foldable the size of a smartphone that folds to half its original size. The TCL trifold device that another approach. TCL posits that we need a foldable the size of a smartphone (albeit much, much thicker) that unfolds into a large tablet.

While I don’t see this being the preferred foldable form factor, just that fact that this device exists makes me more excited about the future of this segment of the industry. That’s what tech, and more specifically consumer tech, should be all about – private companies throwing anything and everything at the wall to see what sticks.

Back in 2007 Apple took us on a whirlwind ride with the launch of the iPhone. Granted, it wasn’t a good device at launch, but it captured the imagination and showed us what the future could look like. Perhaps we are seeing the same in 2020 with the launch of a bunch of new foldable phones.

Again, they’re not good enough for consumers to actually spend their hard earned cash on right now, but imagine where we could be in a year or two. Think iPhone vs iPhone 3GS.