Chinese TCL, mostly known for its budget televisions and phones through its BlackBerry Mobile and Alcatel brands, is working on at least five devices employing flexible displays, including two tablets, two smartphones and a flexible phone that could curve into a smartwatch, according to CNET.
The publication claims that TCL's tablet has a display that folds inward, like a clamshell, while another has a display on the outside, like the Royole Flexpai.
The smartphones also have two variants that fold on the inside and outside, but they bend at the horizontal line, like a traditional flip phone. And the most interesting patent shows a tall phone curves into a cuff around a wrist.
Of course, it is unclear whether TCL would actually produce these devices.
Industry hopes that the availability of reliable foldable displays and the new phone designs could reignite consmers' interest for smartphones. People are holding onto their smartphones longer than before, and it's getting harder to justify a pricey upgrade given the relatively minor tweaks made every year.
Most phone makers are working on foldable devices. Google has said it's committed to providing Android support for foldable designs.
Startup Royole already sells its foldable device, the FlexPai.
Samsung will show off its efforts at next week's Galaxy S10 launch.