The long-rumoured foldable Samsung smartphone will reportedly be released next year.—it’s been one of the biggest rumoured smartphone projects of all time. If it happens, it could start the next major revolution in the mobile phone industry, surpassing the current bezel-less display trend and this is according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
Before that, the South Korean conglomerate’s 2017 financial report had hinted that the smartphone would be making its appearance soon – catching the attention of Samsung fans and anyone interested in what the company’s engineers could do with a foldable smartphone.
“For the display panel business in 2018, the company expects OLED [organic light-emitting diode] to become a mainstream panel in the smartphone industry and will reinforce its competencies in new applications such as foldable, automotive, and IT displays,” report added.
The foldable phone was initially codenamed Project Valley has been anticipated from Samsung since 2017. But these phone which is codenamed “Winner” internally will have a 7-inch screen. The device will be a true phablet (smartphone-tablet), larger than other high-end phones like the iPhone X (5.8 inches) and Pixel 2 XL (6 inches). And will fold in half like a wallet. The device will also have a smaller display on the front that’s visible when it’s folded in half.
The initial rollout of the device wouldn’t be on a large scale, but would instead target more specific markets such as mobile gamers. If the response is successful, then Samsung will have a ‘broader commercial debut in the second half of 2019.’ Sources say that Samsung is less focused on the device being a huge hit right away, but are more focused on being the first company to produce a foldable-screen smartphone. This could mean that both timing and design of the device could change over time.
While Samsung might be the first smartphone manufacturer to launch a phone with a foldable screen, it won’t come at a cheap price. Kim Jang-yeol, head of research at Golden Bridge Investment, says the phone could reportedly cost as much as two million won at release, Korea Times reports. In the U.S., that converts to about $1,850 — which makes it even more expensive than the iPhone X.
In 2013, Samsung released the Galaxy Round – its first attempt at a smartphone with a curved display – to a few select Asian markets so it could learn from its mistakes and impress a larger population. The following year it released the Galaxy Note Edge, which had a single curved edge. It wound up serving as the blueprint for every curved-display device on the market.
A lot of phone manufacturers, including Apple, are also said to be creating similar foldable smartphones. Coming from the south Korean tech company, this tactics is not a bad one, but however considering the scrutiny the foldable phone will face, but it does mean that the chances of seeing it sooner rather than later, at least in some part of the world are slim.