Samsung pioneered the foldable phone technology and was one of the first OEMs to showcase a nd launch such a device. The company is now reportedly working on two more foldable devices seeking an early lead in the new, untested market segment. Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that the South Korean tech giant is said to be developing a clamshell-like device and another that folds away from the user similar to the Huawei Mate X that was launched at the recently-concluded Mobile World Congress.
Samsung is reportedly planning to unveil the vertically folding phone late this year or early next year and is said to be using mock-ups to fine-tune the design. The gadget is designed with an extra screen on the outside, but the manufacturer may remove it depending on how customers respond to a similar display on the Galaxy Fold, they said. The outfolding device, which already exists as a prototype after being considered as Samsung’s first foldable gadget, will roll out afterward. It will be thinner because it has no extra screen.
The sources also said that Samsung may incorporate an in-display fingerprint sensor for its foldable lineup. As far as the Galaxy Fold is concerned, Samsung is also trying to improve the durability of the Galaxy Fold’s display by eliminating the crease that appears on the panel after it’s been folded about 10,000 times. Reportedly, Samsung is considering offering free screen replacements after releasing the product in April.
Digit was at the MWC where Samsung showcased the phone in a glass box. People with the knowledge of the matter also explained the reasons why the South Korean company chose to put the phone in a glass display. The Galaxy Fold’s screen imperfection develops on a protective film covering the touch sensor bonded with the display underneath, one of the people said. “That’s one reason why Samsung kept the phone inside a glass case at MWC in Barcelona last month,” the person said. Another reason why the device was kept away from the hands of reviewers was software imprefections, a source told Digit.in.
Citing a Samsung spokeswoman, the report on the new foldable phones from the company said that the Galaxy Fold was displayed that way because the company wanted more attention on the Galaxy S10 phones, not because there was a problem with the quality of the foldable device. The company had announced that it will produce 1 million foldable phones this year. For the Galaxy Fold, Samsung has also worked with Google on an optimised Android operating system for a foldable screen.
Samsung’s other competitors like Xiaomi, LG and Apple are also said to be working on foldable phones. Xiaomi is working on a dual-folding phone while LG has already said that it does not want to release the foldable phone because it feels there no market for it. Apple, however, hasn’t announced any plans for a similar gadget but patent published in past few months have suggested that the iPhone-maker is working in this direction as well.
“No one knows what the ideal design is yet. The time is ripe for experimentation. Many of these designs won’t be successful, but industry players will learn valuable lessons along the way,” Bryan Ma, Vice President of Devices Research at IDC, was quoted as saying. Samsung also envisions smartphones with rollable and stretchable displays in the future, company’s Executive Vice President Chung Eui-suk said on the corporate website earlier this year.