Samsung Foldable Smartphone Might Launch This Year
Earlier this week, it was reported that Samsung was granted a patent for a fold-out smartphone. Although many have speculated that a fold-able smartphone won’t be out until sometime in 2018, a new report has surfaced that Samsung is prepping to release one in 2017.
Sources familiar with the matter have indicated that Samsung is readying more than 100,000 units of its folding smartphone for the third quarter of this year, according to The Korea Herald. The smartphone will come with a fold-able, bendable display allowing users to fold out the device into a 7-inch tablet. The device is speculated to be the Galaxy X.
The South Korean news site didn’t give any information on the device’s specifications, but its display technology is expected to be OLED. Samsung unveiled a fold-able OLED display last year, as pointed out by Forbes.
The report claims that Samsung began developing the technology for the fold-out smartphone back in August 2016 after assessing that a fold-in phone, the screen will be tucked inside while closed, would be inconvenient for users. Samsung’s fold-able smartphone will have the display present on the outside even when closed.
This report from the South Korean outlet also appears to be in line with Bloomberg's report from June 2016. Bloomberg claimed that Samsung was planning to release two folding devices in 2017: one that folds inwards, while the other is described almost exactly as what The Korea Herald had just reported.
Although the Q3 2017 launch already appears to be Samsung’s current target, that can still change. Multiple sources said that Samsung’s final decision to launch the fold-able smartphone will still depend on “marketability and profitability issues” suggesting that it could be pushed back for a 2018 launch.
LG Electronics, one of Samsung biggest rivals, is also expected to produce 100,000 fold-able devices this year sometime during the fourth quarter. The company has been working on flexible displays since 2013. One major difference with what LG is doing with its tech is that it plans to produce folding screens for other phone manufacturers like Apple and Huawei, according to BGR.