Samsung has long been rumored to be developing a foldable or flexible smartphone, and today, a series of reports suggest that the device could be just over the horizon after years of speculation.
A report published Tuesday by Korean outlet ET News claimed that Samsung had decided to begin mass producing foldable smartphones in November of this year for a possible December launch.
According to the outlet, the device would feature a 7.3-inch flexible OLED display that could fold open like a book — allowing the phone to be used both in a traditional form factor, as well as a more tablet-like design.
As far as price range, expect the device to be in the high-end of the spectrum — even a step above current Samsung flagships (sources state that Samsung wants to target the “ultra-premium” market). As such, a price upwards of $1,000 is likely, especially for the amount of “screen space” the phone would sport.
ET News even reported that Samsung could be prepared to show off off early prototypes of the foldable smartphone’s display in a “private space” at CES ’18.
But it might be smart to take the December 2018 launch date rumor with a grain of salt. The Korea Herald, who spoke to Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh, reports a slightly different story. “It is difficult to talk about the date of the launch now. We want to unveil the products properly but now seems a bit early,” Koh told the publication.
He added that Samsung wants a good reaction from its customers but that there are currently “durability issues” with the foldable smartphone that the Korean tech giant has yet to address.
Those “durability issues” might have to do with the actual folding display. ET News reported that Samsung engineers are currently working to ensure the display leaves no trace of having been folded when fully opened.
Koh’s comments don’t necessarily contradict rumors of a foldable smartphone — in fact, they basically confirm that Samsung is working on it. But they do throw the exact release date up in the air. In other words, a foldable Galaxy X could launch in December. Just don’t expect it to.