- Samsung said to be working on a flexible smartphone with inward-folding, 7.3-inch OLED display.
- The handset would be “ultra-premium” both in price and performance.
- It’s said to be entering mass production in November with a view to a December/early 2019 launch.
After years of flexible smartphone display rumors, we’ve now reached 2018, where we probably only have another year of rumors to go. Samsung is said to be working on a folding smartphone set to enter mass production this November, and released in December or early next year.
The news arrived earlier today via ET News [translated], which provided a few interesting details about the potential smartphone. Apparently, the handset would feature a 7.3-inch, flexible OLED display (built by Samsung Display) that would fold open like a book. Samsung has experimented with smartphone display technologies for a number of years — most recently popularizing the curved smartphone display — but this would be its first commercial smart device with a flexible screen.
Samsung may even be showing off display prototypes for industry partners behind closed doors at CES 2018, said ET News, though it may not be the first device of its kind to market. Other manufacturers, such as LG and Lenovo, have also been working on flexible displays; however, as the world’s number one manufacturer, Samsung’s product will no doubt be the most anticipated.
According to the report, Samsung’s engineers are currently tasked with ensuring that the displays leave no trace of having been folded once they are opened into a flat position. As for the price, the device is expected to be “ultra-premium” in every way, so expect it to be at the top end or higher than what is being paid for today’s flagships (i.e. $1000+).
Despite these claims, we heard similar tales last year regarding a late 2017 release for such a product — from exactly the same source. Back in April, ET News produced a report that hit many of the same beats regarding timelines, delays, and the device size (7 inches). It begs the question of whether we’ll see a rehash of this story appear early in 2019 too.
While I wouldn’t place any bets on the release based on current information, given that five years have now passed since Samsung’s CES 2013 keynote (where it first touched in flexible display tech), I imagine that this type of product can’t be much further away.
Check out this Android Authority footage to see what an folding tablet would look like in practice and give us your thoughts on the Samsung speculation in the comments.
January 8, 2018 at 11:05PM