Foldable Samsung phones still coming this year, according to insiders, with fold-out designs
After several years of constantly rumored R&D efforts, frequent plan revisions, doubts as to the utility and mass appeal of perhaps too forward-thinking designs, delays after delays, and, well, more doubts, things have been rather quiet on the Samsung foldable smartphone evolution front lately.
But despite political scandals, Galaxy Note 7 safety issues, and ongoing work on a possibly revolutionary GS8 in its own right, the chaebol reportedly still found time to move the so-called Galaxy X flexible pioneer just one step away from a commercial release.
A limited one, obviously, with around 100,000 units expected to roll out sometime in the year’s third quarter by “sources familiar with the matter” quoted in the Korean media. Somewhat surprisingly, these malleable smartphones may sport panels that “face outward upon folding”, following a last-minute change in their development process.
Apparently, fold-in phones with “screens tucked inside when folded” were completed first, but quickly scrapped and deemed inconvenient to use, requiring constant unfolding. Fold-out devices, meanwhile, can be used as-is in phone mode, unfurling to seamlessly convert into 7-inch tablets whenever you might need some extra screen real estate.
LG is once again speculated to have similar plans as its domestic arch-rival, gunning for a first production run of 100,000 foldable devices in Q4 2017, even if it “currently has more advanced technology than Samsung.” This should however help it secure a big chunk of bendable display orders from companies like Apple, Huawei, Google or Microsoft, as analysts forecast the novel market to jump from 2.7 million units this year to 163M by 2022.