Innovation in smartphone technologies has come to a standstill lately. We hardly see a phone with a whole new technological significance these days. Improved camera, reduced bezel size, and re-positioned fingerprint sensors are not compelling enough for customers to upgrade to the newer models. So has the smartphone innovation reached its saturation point? Well, given the advancements in technology, this day should never come.
Foldable smartphones are considered to be the next big technological innovation that can overcome this fatigue in the market. We, of course, have been hearing it for years, but it may finally be happening. The first ever smartphone with a bendable display might hit the market by early 2019.
We've seen countless media reports, rumors, concepts, and patents about Samsung’s foldable smartphone tentatively called the Galaxy X. The Korean giant is definitely giving it a serious priority and is considered to be the first OEM to potentially bring a foldable smartphone to the market. And recent report emerging from Korea only support the claim. Samsung reportedly showcased both inward folding and outward folding prototypes of the foldable smartphone to its partners at a secret meeting during the CES 2018 earlier this year.
Samsung allegedly brought prototypes of phones with three OLED panels of 3.5 inch each. When unfolded, two of the display panels get placed together to create a 7-inch screen. The third panel was placed on the outside of the in-folding prototype to serve as an information ticker.
The total footprint of the prototype was no larger than the Galaxy Note 8 when unfolded. This almost confirms that Samsung have given up on the phone-plus-tablet idea. It's, however, still not clear which design will Samsung finalize for the foldable phone. Samsung is apparently exploring both in-folding and out-folding designs and the final decision will be taken in June this year.
The Galaxy X, or whatever it'd be called, should be available early next year. The device will see a limited release, with Samsung reportedly preparing for 0.5-2 million units overall, to test market reactions and gather customer feedback. The decision shouldn't be surprising anyone, given the company's similar strategy with the ‘Edge’ design on their smartphones.
With all this said, it is worth mentioning once again that none of the information in the report is official. But Samsung is working on a foldable smartphone, and it's official. Chinese phone maker Huawei has also confirmed that it's working on a foldable smartphone of its own. So it's only a matter of time now.