The competition between Korean and Chinese Electronics companies is a never ending process which has resulted in a huge number of innovations in technology and interesting products over years. With innovations in the smartphones industry taking a dip in the last couple of years (barring exceptions), flexible/foldable smartphones is certain to be the next big thing to breathe in a new life to smartphone innovation. Samsung are also in this race of producing the "World's first foldable smartphone".
According to a report by ETNEWS, Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display are currently at the final phase of development of the foldable smartphone. The prototypes are due to be produced by Q3, 2017 although it was initially planned for Q1, 2017 Samsung had to focus on improving quality standards. Samsung will be testing these prototypes internally and will be sharing the units to mobile network providers from multiple markets where Samsung has a hold on. Samsung had also brought a few prototypes of these foldable phones to MWC 2017, however, it was only shared with top personnel from major mobile network providers. The company is keeping these prototypes under tight security to prevent leakage of any details of the technology to its rivals from China.
Meanwhile, Chinese companies are also in the race to produce the first foldable smartphone. Display manufacturers such as BOE, Visionox, and AUO have showcased their prototypes to major Chinese players such as LENOVO, OPPO, and VIVO and are in talks to start mass production soon. Samsung, on the other hand, will be assessing its prototypes for a while before hitting mass production which is expected to hit the market in 2018. Samsung are also in plans of expanding its manufacturing line in order to meet demand, for the prototypes Samsung Display will be producing them at its A3 line.
The foldable smartphones from Samsung are expected to sport luxurious and elegant design as they're going to be an industry first (hopefully) and represent the company's ultra-premium Smartphone range.