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Is Samsung finally launching their fabled foldable smartphone this year?


Do you prefer a large smartphone with a big beautiful display or a small device that’s easy to pocket? That was always the trade-off we had to make when deciding on a device. But what if you could have both?

Well, that’s where the “foldable” smartphone idea comes into play. We saw Samsung patenting their idea of a foldable smartphone early last year, but we had no indication on when this device would see the light of day. If a recent report by The Korean Herald is to be believed that day could be somewhere in Q3 of 2017.

A recent report from the Korean Herald, citing sources familiar with the matter, states that Samsung is expected to roll out more than 100,000 units of fold-out devices in the third quarter of this year. These devices can fold out into a 7-inch tablet.


In the past, Samsung has already secured fold-in technology for smartphones. However, they deemed that it may be inconvenient for a user to keep unfolding their smartphone when they wanted to use it — think a clamshell device — so development began on a fold-out smartphone instead.

However, the fold-out smartphone could have some issues too. It would obviously be a fingerprint magnet, and since you have screens on both sides, it will be more prone to scratching compared to a fold-in device which can protect its screens with the device’s body. Then again, considering how many devices these days are all glass on both sides, maybe it won’t be such a big deal after all.

Unfortunately, The Korean Herald did not nail down any hard technical specifications, however, we suspect that the displays will definitely be OLED as opposed to LCD. I mean, Samsung’s already implementing curved displays in their current flagships today.

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According to the Herald’s sources, however, Samsung’s rival LG is also expected to produce more than 100,000 foldable devices in Q4 of this year. Since they began development 2-3 years ago, compared to Samsung which only began development last August, LG has more advanced technology than Samsung.

However, Samsung looks poised to be the first to launch a fold-out smartphone this year. The keyword here is poised because The Korean Herald’s sources say that that, despite the technical completion of the device, Samsung Electronics “has not made a final decision about whether they will unveil the device this year because of marketability and profitability issues”.

In other words, they’re not sure if there is a demand or if it will sell when it’s launched. So here’s my question to you: Would you want a fold-out smartphone that’s both pocketable and capable of folding out into a 7-inch tablet? Let me know in the comments below.

One thing’s for sure though, it probably won’t pass the bend test.