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ZTE plans on releasing more foldable phones like the Axon M

Towards the end of 2017, ZTE made a surprise announcement with the Axon M. The Axon M is the latest phone to tackle the dual-screen smartphone, and it's the first big attempt we've seen since the Kyocera Echo back in 2011. The Axon M is not a perfect phone, but unlike a lot of the competition, it took a risk to try something different.

In an interview with Engadget, ZTE's Vice President of Marketing, Jeff Yee, confirmed that the Axon M will not be the last of its kind. Yee says that ZTE will release successors to the M, and throughout the interview, Yee reiterates that the Axon M is a foldable phone, not one with two screens.

While the current iteration of the Axon M very clearly has two separate screens, Yee says that ZTE's end goal is to release a phone with one single display that can fold in and out depending on how much screen real-estate you want to use.

It's unlikely that the next version of the Axon M will utilize this tech, but even so, it's clear that this is the direction the mobile industry is very quickly heading. Samsung is reportedly planning to start production of its foldable smartphone by the end of 2018, and ZTE likely won't be the last company to follow in its footsteps.

Aside from the single foldable screen, what else would you like to see from future Axon M releases?

Samsung said to start producing foldable smartphone in November

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

16 Comments
  • That's a great thing. I can't believe any actually bought this phone, but the potential is there. The problem with so many of them has been that they put out a first-gen product, it flames out because they are just not great, and they don't improve in a second-gen iteration. If the phone iterates and get's better, it will be good for the whole industry.
  • ZTE just wanted to be known as the first to brought this to market. They know Samsung is supposedly close to releasing theirs and Apple is working on one too.
  • I think Samsung has a little different take on this though
  • Why? give us the axon 8
  • I have the axon m. So far I'm enjoying it. There is a few little quirks it has compared to my Samsung s7e I came from. But was ready to give another brand a try.
  • Get ready for a terrible update release schedule and...They only care about fighting rooters...and selling phones to Iran and North Korea...#ztesupportsterroristsandignoressanctions
  • I don't even know why anyone is trying. Who really wants one? And for what?
  • Well they all must see something. Samsung, Microsoft and Huawei are all close to releasing a folding device with Apple possibly doing the same. When most of the biggest manufacturers are releasing a similar device then they see a market for it
  • I think it's to get attention for doing something different. The phone is not my cup of tea and is not something I would be interested in, though I can appreciate that others would like one. When they get the design to where you have to look hard to see the line between the two screens when it's fully open, call me up.
  • This is a good concept phone just needs to be executed better.
  • I think the Holy grail for these devices will be getting the fully opened screen with no black bar down the middle where the fold or hinge is. I think Samsung might win that battle with their single flexible screen bending around the hinge as opposed to a 90° fold
  • Yes, that would be great.
  • This is not just flash in the pan or one hit wonder. IMHO its coming and will stay for some considerable time. The hardware is just a reflection of the changing media content world... and the next steps in that regard are live streaming with chat. The live CES coverage on YT was awesome in this regard. Watching live YT video stream with panel discussions and replying to live chat.... Awesome. Would have been even better on 2 screens... full screen video on the top and keyboard chat content on the bottom. They are just scratching the surface. Imagine watching the superbowl or world series on one screen and being able to live chat with the television analysts using the other. Or watching news coverage of an election or live debate on one screen and chatting with moderators on the other. As always battery life will be a huge question mark though. If they could make the screen resolution, refresh rates and brightness independently user selectable that might go a long way. If they could incorporate Qi charging, so the user can place the device flat on a Qi charger while using it. Of course I am and always will be a proponent of removable batteries. Thumbs up to this "new" format. I disagree in that it does not "need" a single flexible screen to really take off. IMHO a pair of curved, wrap around edges with no bezel, and a clever hinge design could be put to good use... although optical distortions would be an unwanted bi-product. This would put the user in control and let them turn on/off one of the screens if they only need one. Imagine watching Jaime or Michael Fisher on a live-feed product review, Q&A style. One screen we get to see Jaime and his glorious T-shirts in full frame and on the other screen (purposed for keyboard typing) we can type in our product questions.
  • I'm kind of surprised we don't yet have dual display phones... maybe not a full display screen, but more a small notification screen on the rear side. I mean its already glass backed, I am surprised someone hasn't tried to squeeze in another display back there.
  • Been done before, can't see what's behind you...also people claim they want good battery life...well...two screens kills that twice as fast...
  • Not twice as fast if the rear screen is smaller. About 30% or so of battery goes to illuminating a screen, an additional small screen wouldn't increase that to 130%.