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.
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.