Samsung has been hinting for years that they have a folding smartphone in the works. Our archives on Samsung foldable, bendable and scrollable patents show their work dates back to 2012. Rumors came to light last September (one and two) that Samsung was working on a new design for their Note smartphone that would be foldable. A new report published today states that Samsung now has their roadmap cemented on delivering a super-premium foldable smartphone now that China’s ZTE beat them to the punch. Our cover graphic is a generic Samsung foldable smartphone design and not necessarily the design that Samsung will eventually adopt.
The report states that Samsung Electronics has decided to mass-produce foldable Smartphones this coming November. Representatives from multiple industries familiar with this matter said that Samsung Electronics recently switched development phase of foldable Smartphones to mass-production phase. The fact that it is working on mass-production phase indicates that it decided to release foldable Smartphones.
It is understood that Samsung Electronics even established detailed schedule for production of foldable Smartphones. It is going to develop foldable displays by March and manufacture panels in September. It is planning to manufacture final products in November. It is assumed that Samsung Electronics will release actual foldable Smartphones in December or in early 2019 at Barcelona’s trade show.
There is also detailed information regarding its foldable Smartphones. It is likely that Samsung Electronics’ foldable Smartphones will have 7.3-inch flexible OLED displays that are folded inwardly. This allows people to use these Smartphones as normal Smartphones on regular days and use them as tablets by unfolding them.
It is heard that Samsung Display is going to set up a private space at CES 2018, which is going to be held in Las Vegas and have its opening on the 9th (U.S. time), regarding foldable displays and introduce them to its major customers.
It is heard that Samsung Electronics set a goal to create a market that is one step higher than current premium Smartphone markets. An industry representative stated in the report that ‘Foldable Smartphones are targeting ‘ultra-premium markets’ as they surpass both performance and price of current premium Smartphones. Samsung Electronics’ goal is to provide performance, design, and usability that fit foldable Smartphones.’
Samsung has said in the past that while they were working on foldable smartphones, they could not confirm schedules for mass-production.
Is this Samsung foldable rumor 101 or the real thing? While only time will tell, Samsung desperately needs to hit a home run in order to get back into the Chinese market. Once the leader in that market, they’ve fallen off the top five vendors list by local vendors like Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi. Apple was in the fifth spot last quarter, though specific premium models were rated above all in China.
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