Foldable smartphone may debut in January
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.
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.