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Foldable smartphone unveiled

Writer: Zhang Yu  | Editor: Stephanie Yang  | From:  | Updated: 2018-11-01

ROYOLE Corp., a leading innovator and manufacturer of next-generation human-machine interfaces, has geared up to tap into the smartphone market and unveiled its most ground-breaking product to date in Beijing yesterday afternoon.

Bill Liu, CEO of Royole Corp., introduces the company’s latest product FlexPai, a foldable mobile phone with a flexible display, to the audience at the China National Convention Center in Beijing yesterday. Lu Li

The FlexPai, dubbed by the company as the world’s first mobile phone with a flexible display, not only features the portability of a smartphone but also the high definition and contrast of a widescreen tablet.

The handset, with a minimum fixed price of 8,999 yuan (US$1,318), is arguably Royole’s biggest push to make inroads into the smartphone sector by bringing a more powerful visual experience to consumers.

The powerful functions of the gadget are backed by more than 2,000 core technology intellectual property rights, said the company. The ultra-thin flexible screen integrates more than 20 million flexible ultra-precision devices, 6 million flexible integrated circuits, and nearly 100 kinds of micro-nano film materials.

Bill Liu introduces the FlexPai.  Courtesy of Royole Corp.

Founded in 2012 by a team of scientists headed by Tsinghua and Stanford graduate Bill Liu, the Shenzhen-based company creates and manufactures next-generation human-machine interface technologies and products, such as flexible displays, flexible sensors and smart devices.

In 2014, Royole introduced the world’s thinnest flexible display at only 0.01 millimeters thick. In June 2018, the company began mass producing fully flexible displays at its Quasi-G6 Mass Production Campus in Shenzhen.

“We believe the new mode of interaction between flexible screens and flexible sensors will change a range of hardware and software, as well as the ecology. Royole is at the forefront of exploring flexible screens,” said Kevin Kelly, founding editor of the magazine “Wired” and author of “Out of Control,” at the launch event.

FlexPai.  Courtesy of Royole Corp.

Liu also unveiled two strategic projects at the conference. Royole will fork out 200 million yuan to support and reward international software developers who develop new apps for the FlexPai.

FlexPai.  Courtesy of Royole Corp.

The company’s other project, “Flexible Planet Creation Project,” intends to find a theme song, logo, and creative designs for Royole’s flexible electronic products, by accepting ideas from people around the world. Eligible works will share a prize of 1 million yuan.

According to the company, Royole’s total amount of funding has reached US$1.1 billion over six rounds of fundraising, and its market valuation has climbed from US$3 billion in 2016 to US$5 billion currently, with the most recent round of fundraising completed.