Fold­able smart­phone may de­but in Jan­uary

The Korea Times - - BUSINESS - By Kang Se­ung-woo ksw@ktimes.com

Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics is ex­pected to un­veil its first-ever bend­able smart­phone at next year’s tech­nol­ogy trade fair in Las Ve­gas, ac­cord­ing to for­eign me­dia out­lets, Fri­day.

In ad­di­tion, the de­vice, the pre­sump­tively “Sam­sung Galaxy X,” is likely to be a lim­ited-edi­tion model with only 100,000 likely to hit shelves.

Forbes re­ported the fold­ing phone will de­but at the Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show (CES), sched­uled for Jan. 9 through 12.

“Show­ing off the Galaxy X at CES con­firms Sam­sung’s pro­fi­ciency and vi­sion in the dis­play mar­ket which can be used in more ar­eas than just smart­phones and mo­bile de­vices,” it said.

Other me­dia also said the Jan­uary un­veil­ing is more log­i­cal as the world’s top smart­phone maker is an­tic­i­pated to come up with its new flag­ship Galaxy S9 smart­phone at the Mo­bile World Congress in Spain in the fol­low­ing month.

The re­ports came af­ter Sam­sung’s mo­bile chief Koh Dong-jin said last month the long-awaited phone would be on the com­pany’s roadmap for next year — although he failed to elab­o­rate fur­ther due to some tech­ni­cal is­sues that it was dig­ging into.

It was the first time that Koh made pub­lic the spe­cific plan for the next-gen­er­a­tion phone.

Phon­earena, a web­site spe­cial­iz­ing in smart­phones, said only 100,000 Galaxy X phones will be man­u­fac­tured and all of them will be sold in Korea as a test run.

“De­pend­ing on how well the hand­set does dur­ing the lim­ited re­lease in Korea, a global launch could take place in 2019,” it said.

In July, Sam­sung pro­duced only 400,000 Galaxy Note Fan Edi­tion phones— a re­fur­bished phone of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 — and sold them only in Korea.

How­ever, Sam­sung said it has yet to de­cide when and where to re­lease it.

“The model num­ber of SM-G888N0 that for­eign me­dia see as a fold­able phone is a de­vice for rail­road net­works,” a Sam­sung of­fi­cial said. “We are still de­vel­op­ing a bend­able phone, though the re­lease date and coun­tries are still un­de­cided.”

A smart­phone with a fold­ing dis­play is cur­rently gain­ing trac­tion as it could pro­vide var­i­ous de­sign op­tions along with its easy porta­bil­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try tracker Strat­egy An­a­lyt­ics’ April re­port, the first fold­able smart­phone is an­tic­i­pated to be re­leased in 2019 and take up 0.1 per­cent of the global mar­ket that year — a re­vi­sion from its ear­lier ex­pec­ta­tion that it could de­but as early as 2017.

Cour­tesy of Sam­sung Dis­play

Seen above is a flex­i­ble dis­play, which was de­vel­oped by Sam­sung Dis­play, an af­fil­i­ate of Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics. Sam­sung is ex­pected to come up with smart­phones based on the new tech­nol­ogy next Jan­uary, at ear­li­est.

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