Samsung Working On A Smartphone That Folds Like Paper
This year, the big innovation in smartphones was the edge-to-edge display. One of the earliest phones to offer this feature was Samsung’s Galaxy S8, but since then, we’ve seen it adopted by Apple, OnePlus, Essential, and several other companies. It’s difficult to predict what the future will hold, but our guess is that 2018 will see the rise of foldable phones. ZTE already released one in the form of the ZTE Axom M, but its use of a hinge, combined with a high price tag, made it a bit disappointing.
Business Korea has reported that Samsung is planning on launching a foldable Galaxy X next year. Unlike ZTE’s offering, which featured two screens connected by a hinge, the so-called “Galaxy X” is expected to fold like paper.
There is some debate regarding what kind of material Samsung will use in its phone, but most experts believe it will be a kind of plastic. The current consensus is that the electronics firm has found a way to process the panel’s junctions individually giving the panel more flexibility.
“Samsung has applied for a number of technology patents for foldable smartphones in order to preempt the foldable display market,” an industry official told Business Korea. “But as the product is not officially released, it will be vital to the success of the product how much related technology is applied.”
In addition to Samsung, two other major smartphone makers are reportedly working on foldable devices. The first is Samsung’s main rival in the display market, LG. As of right now, it isn’t clear if LG is working on a foldable smartphone or if they will merely be supplying foldable displays to Samsung’s other main rival, Apple.
On the 23 of November, Apple released a patent for a foldable iPhone. The current patent suggests a design more similar to a refined version of ZTE’s phone than Samsung’s. The foldable iPhone is currently said to feature displays connected via hinge though it is possible Apple could go in a different direction. Regardless of which method Apple decides to use, it is expected that LG Display will be responsible for the creation of the displays.
While Samsung is hoping to launch its phone next year, most reports say that its rivals will hold off until 2019 which is when most analysts expect foldable phones to take off commercially.
Eric is an avid tech junkie, gamer, and comic fan. When he's not working on his PC, you'll find him at your local comic book shop.