The Chinese electronics company, TCL has confirmed that it is pausing its plans to release a lower-cost foldable smartphone codenamed Project Chicago this year which is already in mid-development due to rising production costs and supply chain shortages. This is according to Stefan Streit, chief marketing officer of TC who said in a statement that together with recent component shortages, the COVID-19 pandemic, and rising costs in foldable production, TCL has made the difficult decision to suspend the launch of its first commercially available foldable smartphone until the company can produce and bring it to market at a price point that’s accessible to as many consumers as possible.
He further said that the foldable market is growing each year, it is still a premium product category and that company is closely monitoring the market to determine the best time to launch a foldable smartphone. The company gave out a few sample devices to reviewers (looks like MrMobile got their hands on one), but said it did not have any additional devices available, or any photos of Chicago to share.
“TLC pauses plans to release foldable smartphones due to rising costs in foldable production.”
The company says it’s not giving up on the foldable product category but doesn’t have a time frame for when its first foldable device may be commercially available.
The news comes a few weeks after the launch of Samsung’s latest foldable devices: the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3. Though TLC has announced to pause the plans to release its foldable smartphone before Samsung launched its own.