Samsung continues to be the world’s largest smartphone maker by a sizeable margin, but the South Korean electronics maker recently reported a massive 74% drop in mobile profits in the third quarter due to declining Galaxy sales and increasing competition from Apple and Chinese rivals Xiaomi and Lenovo.
In an effort to cut costs and combat declining profits, it was reported last night that Samsung will sell up to 30% fewer smartphone models next year. But that doesn’t appear to be the only move up Samsung’s sleeve, as ZDNet reports that the tech giant is also gearing up to launch a smartphone with a flexible and foldable display by the end of the year.
Samsung’s vice president of business strategic team Lee Chang-hoon told investors at the Samsung Investor Forum 2014 in New York that the flexible smartphone, which can reportedly be folded in half, has not been finalized yet.
But with only around six weeks left on the calendar before the new year, the company had better hurry if it truly plans on launching this device in 2014. The holiday shopping season is well underway, with the biggest shopping day of the year in Black Friday fast approaching.
“We will secure production capacity of 30,000 to 40,000 [flexible displays each month] by the end of next year,” said Lee Chang-hoon, vice president of business strategic team, Samsung Display, during Samsung Investor Forum 2014 in New York. “There will be no company [except Samsung] that has this great production capacity by 2016. […] We plan to provide consumers with a product that has a flexible display by the end of the year. However, nothing has been decided on the finished product.”
Samsung announced a somewhat flexible smartphone in the Galaxy Note Edge at a September press event, a variant of the Galaxy Note with a curved edge on its right side that can be used independently from the main portioned screen. We found the device to be rather unique in our hands-on and first impressions video, but warned that it could be a flop if it isn’t embraced by developers.
Lee also claimed that the Samsung Display division is working to lower the production costs of its AMOLED displays, adding that he believes AMOLED displays can be manufactured for cheaper than LCD screens. Within three years, Samsung Display hopes to lessen its dependance on its sibling Samsung Electronics and sell more smartphone displays to a wider range of handset makers.