This year has been all about bezel-less displays for smartphones. Almost every major smartphone manufacturer (except Sony) jumped on the bezel-less display bandwagon. But the next big thing in the smartphone world seems to be foldable displays.

ZTE Axon M
The Leaked ZTE Axon MAndroid Authority

Back in 2009, Samsung showed the smartphone world the path to the future by showcasing the first bendable display panel at CES 2009. Not long ago, there were rumours doing the rounds about Samsung's Galaxy X foldable smartphone which is expected to be launched next year. Samsung seemed to have carved a neat game plan for itself, but now another prominent player, ZTE Corporation is vying to beat Samsung at its own game by becoming the first smartphone maker to debut a foldable smartphone.

ZTE has already announced that it is going to launch its new smartphone on October 17 and if a report from Android Authority is to be believed, we could see the arrival of the world's first smartphone with a foldable display at the launch event.

The Chinese smartphone maker has even leaked a photo that shows a device with its display folded in two halves, both with barely-there bezels. The device in the leaked photo is a prototype smartphone which is known by the codename "Axon Mully" within ZTE or "Axon M" once it comes out in the market. The interesting bit about the smartphone is that when it is not folded, the two halves of the phone join together to form a large 6.8 inch display with 1,920 x 2,160 resolution.

Upon its release the ZTE Axon M could well be the world's first smartphone with a foldable display. But it shouldn't be mistaken for a smartphone with a "bendable display." It is quite similar to flip-phones such as the classic Moto Razr, but with two displays on each side instead of a keypad.

The smartphone's other features and details such as camera, RAM, internal storage and processor remain a mystery. And it is still not clear whether this prototype will make it to the market or not. But what we know for sure is that if it will be launched this year, it will revolutionise the world of smartphones for the next couple of years until bendable smartphones become a reality.