Samsung first showed off a prototype of a foldable display as long ago as 2013, with patents also showing a rollable version, but plans to finally put a foldable phone into production have now been confirmed, according to supply-chain sources.

Samsung last year confirmed that the company was aiming for release sometime in 2018, but noted that this wasn’t guaranteed …

Samsung president Koh Dong-jin said at the time that the company is “currently addressing some technological hurdles to commercialize such a device.”

However, ET News reports that the project has recently moved beyond the development phase and is now formally in the mass-production phase – though we may not see them go on sale until early 2019.

Representative from multiple industries that are familiar with this matter said that Samsung Electronics recently switched development phase of foldable Smartphones to mass-production phase. Fact that it is working on mass-production phase indicates that it decided to release foldable Smartphones. It is understood that Samsung Electronics even established detailed schedule for production of foldable Smartphones. It is going to develop foldable displays by March and manufacture panels in September. It is planning to manufacture final products in November. It is assumed that Samsung Electronics will release actual foldable Smartphones in December or early next year.

The plan is said to be for a smartphone that unfolds into a 7.3-inch tablet. The company is believed to be  pitching the device to a new ultra-premium market.

It is heard that Samsung Electronics set a goal to create a market that is one step higher than current premium Smartphone markets. “Foldable Smartphones are targeting ‘ultra-premium markets’ as they surpass both performance and price of current premium Smartphones.” said a representative for an industry.

ET News suggests that Samsung will show a prototype device at CES later today.

Samsung isn’t the only major player working on foldable displays, with rival Apple long rumored to be working with LG on a display for a foldable iPhone.

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