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Samsung may finally roll out its foldable smartphone in Q3 of 2017, after more than a decade of development and years of rumors. Dubbed the Galaxy X, the long-anticipated smartphone will feature panels that fold out and convert to a 7-inch tablet.
“Samsung is expected to roll out more than 100,000 units of fold-out devices in the third quarter,” a source told The Korea Herald on the condition of anonymity. The limited release will likely be an initial foray into the as yet unexplored foldable smartphone market. There’s ample motivation to test the waters, as Strategy Analytics predicts the foldable display market will reach 163 million units by 2022.
But a 2017 release is not certain yet. The Galaxy X’s launch is contingent on further deliberations as to its “marketability and profitability.”
“The final decision will be made after the personnel reshuffle of the company’s information technology and mobile communications unit is carried out,” the Korea Herald source said. The conglomerate’s executive-level reorganization has been disrupted by a massive presidential corruption scandal that has engulfed Samsung’s leadership.
Earlier this month, Samsung was granted a USPTO patent for a next-gen foldout smartphone according to Patently Apple. If Samsung goes ahead with its plan to launch flexible smartphones this year, it will exert pressure on its major rivals including Apple and LG to bring their folding smartphones out of development and into market.