Samsung

Samsung Is Finally Launching Its Foldable Phone

A logo of Samsung Electronics is seen on the glass door of its showroom in Seoul on April 27, 2012. South Korea's Samsung Electronics reported a record net profit of 5.05 trillion won (4.44 billion USD) in the first quarter, thanks largely to strong smartphone sales. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE        (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/GettyImages)
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Written by Kamil Arli

According to the report published by Korea Herald, the long-rumoured flexible smartphone will be launched in Q3 this year, after three years of development.  

Samsung’s mythical foldable smartphone might actually see the light of day, according to a report from the Korea Herald.

THE HERALD’S SOURCE CLAIMS THAT THE LONG RUMOURED FLEXIBLE SMARTPHONE

The Herald’s source claims that the long-rumoured flexible smartphone will be launched in Q3 this year, after three years of development.

That, however, is dependent on Samsung making a final decision on the device’s “marketability and profitability”, which could mean that it’s never released at all.

Will the Galaxy X make up for Samsung's Note 7 disaster? Image credit: Ian Morris

Will the Galaxy X make up for Samsung’s Note 7 disaster? Image credit: Ian Morris

It does ring, strange, however that the Korean manufacturer would be still be deliberating on whether or not a major, game-changing device that’s awkward to manufacture will be released in 9 months. This is a rumour, though, so treat it with caution.

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WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE PRESUMPTIVELY NAMED GALAXY X?

So what can we expect from the presumptively named ‘Galaxy X’? The reports suggest a smartphone (size unknown) that folds out into a 7-inch tablet once ‘opened’. The Herald report is thin on technical details but previous patents and leaks provide a better image of what to expect.

The main thing is that the display is likely to be OLED, Samsung revealed its rollable OLED display tech at SID last year – so there’s little doubt about that.

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There’s also a myriad of options when it comes to form-factor. Samsung has patented a number of different designs, and publicly shown off multiple different concepts. From cylindrical roll-out device, to a more realistic wallet-style foldout handset.

WHILST THE COMPANY HAS A PENCHANT FOR THEATRICS

Whilst the company has a penchant for theatrics, I’d expect a design that’s partially familiar to customers. The foldable concept will blow people’s minds on its own. Adding a completely alien form-factor might be a step too far.

Samsung also will have a new battery issue to contend with: size and placement. One of the major stumbling blocks to bringing foldable smartphones to market is making a flexible battery. Samsung has made some advances in this area with its prototype ‘Band’ range, but these are designed for wearables – not power-hungry phones with giant foldable screens.

Samsung's latest foldable phone patent. Image credit: Patently Mobile

Samsung’s latest foldable phone patent. Image credit: Patently Mobile

One potential way around this would be if the Korean manufacturer went ahead with its most bland foldable patent to date in the image above, (and, as such, is the most likely to be released) which I reported in May last year. The patent depicts a device that has a flexible spine where the device folds in half, but the rest of it is encased in a hard chassis, which means space for the rigid components.

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If that’s the case, then Samsung’s first step into the foldable phone arena will be a trepid one.

No matter what phone you own, as of December 31st, the government will now legally be allowed to hack it. Find out more on my YouTube video about the Snooper’s Charter. 

About the author

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Kamil Arli

Editor of DigitalReview.co. Digital Media Consultant

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