Samsung foldable smartphones expected to enter production from Q4 2017

By Karthekayan Iyer | Published on 10 Feb 2017
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Samsung's foldable smartphones won't be launching this year, but will it be a hit in 2018?

Samsung foldable smartphones expected to enter production from Q4 2017

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Samsung has been expected to showcase its new foldable smartphone prototype to limited audiences at Mobile World Congress 2017, later this month. Earlier rumours indicated that Samsung will launch foldable phones in Q4 2017, but now a report says that the device will be put up for production at the end of this year, and will only be available next year.

A new report by Digitimes says Samsung's foldable smartphones will go into production only in Q4 2017. The report citing Taiwan's supply chain says the handset will go in for a trial production in fourth quarter of this year. The mass production of the device is expected to start only in second half of 2018.

Samsung has already patented designs for its foldable smartphone. A recent patent filing revealed that Samsung is working on a new form of device that can be "folded or unfolded semi automatically." Internally, the device is reported to be called Galaxy X and it is expected to be the future of Samsung's mobile lineup.

Samsung is the biggest manufacturer of OLED displays and it holds a sizeable lead in the field of bendable OLED displays. However, the company won't be able to launch the product early due to technical issues involving the production and reliability of polyimide-based plastic cover.

"While PI substrates are being produced in large volume currently, mass production of PI-based plastic covers with reliable quality is not expected to come until the first half of 2018," the report cites sources as saying.

LG is the other major smartphone manufacturer working on its set of foldable smartphone. LG is reportedly even partnering with Apple and Microsoft for the development of foldable panels. While foldable smartphones should be the most futuristic interpretation of smartphones in the recent times, it seems we will have to wait until next year to see that happen.

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Karthekayan Iyer

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