The dual-screen form factor introduced by LG Electronics is gaining ground while major global smartphone makers are jockeying for position in the emerging folding phone market. Microsoft has announced it would launch a dual-screen product next year, and a similar product is garnering attention at an overseas crowdfunding site.
A dual-screen device called “castAway” has recently appeared at “Indiegogo,” a crowdfunding site, according to industry watchers on Nov. 25. The funding deadline is about one month away but the item has been very popular. It has surpassed 400 percent of the original target amount.
CastAway allows users to freely attach an additional screen to their smartphones like the LG V50S ThinQ. Unlike the first and second generations of LG's dual screens which each run only on the V50 ThinQ and V50S ThinQ, castAway can be attached to most smartphones. Users can also search and work on their documents independently, even if they set the main unit and its second display apart.
It is priced at US$200 and is available in three model sizes -- 5.8-inch, 6.3-inch or 6.9-inch. For example, users of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus with a 6.8-inch display can buy a 6.9-inch castaway and put the two together.
Microsoft also announced its entry into the dual-screen phone market. In October, it took the wraps off the Surface Duo with two 5.6-inch displays which can be folded or unfolded 360 degrees. The Surface Duo will be available in the market next year.
Dual-screen products are coming out one after another because there is demand for them which is separate from the demand for foldable phones, market analysts say. Compared to a foldable phone priced at 2 million won to 3 million won, dual screen phones are technologically easier to implement and have lower price tags. Thus, dual screen phones can meet demand for practical budget foldable phones.
LG Electronics is also expanding its dual-screen phone market by releasing the V50S ThinQ (G8X ThinQ in overseas markets) with a dual screen. Following its launch in North America earlier this month, the company also held a launch event in Brazil. LG Electronics’ strategy is to increase its dual-screen phone market share by launching sequentially in Latin American countries such as Peru, Panama, Mexico and Argentina.