Remember Samsung‘s amazing foldable and rollable display technologies that were rumored to be in the works as part of a larger smartphone project? As it turns out, the so-called ‘Galaxy X’ is seemingly closer and closer to completion, with just a few bureaucratic issues to resolve…
A Korea Herald report is in fact mentioning that the tech giant is “highly likely” to unveil a foldable smartphone in the third quarter of 2017 — around the same time the rumored Note 8 should debut — and even expected to “roll out more than 100,000 units of fold-out devices”.
The device itself, it seems, is almost ready; while the project originally envisioned a clamshell phone with an inward-facing double display, designers came to the conclusion that having to open the device each time to just check notifications had long become obsolete.
So, in August of 2016, Samsung made an almost 180 and started working on a fold-out version, which “may be used as a 7-inch tablet when unfolded”. This was apparently a relatively easy technical challenge, that allowed the firm to almost finish the product in just a few months.
However, more than one thing is still unclear: it is not said what the ‘inside’ of the folded phone will carry or the exterior part (which could simply have nothing but a camera, as recent patents seem to show) nor in the actual inside, with specs being a complete mystery.
Rumors last summer claimed that this would be envisioned as a flagship product, but given the amount of custom hardware likely needed for this new kind of device, we will have to wait for more information and clarity.
What is also uncertain, the Herald says, is whether the firm will decide to ultimately unveil the device in 2017. An unusually late executive-level reshuffle as well as a political scandal some officials are currently embroiled in may force the electronics behemoth to postpone its rather ambitious launch.
On the other hand, it remains to be seen what LG has up its sleeve as well — rumors claim that it, too, is planning on launching a foldable smartphone, and that the same estimated 100,000 units will go into production as the year closes, likely for an early 2018 unveil/launch.
The source who reported the tidbit to the Herald also claimed that LG began working on similar fold-out technologies three years ago, and is thus in a technical lead over its rival; its plans, in fact, may eventually include selling the tech to third parties like Apple and Huawei, whereas Samsung wants to push a proprietary Galaxy line of phones first.
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