Last week, Samsung unveiled a prototype of its first foldable smartphone — a device based on the company’s proprietary Infinity Flex Display.
Other than the fact that the device exists, few other details were provided at Samsung’s developer’s conference on Nov. 7. The foldable smartphone itself would sport a 7.3-inch display that can fold in half, as well as a secondary back display.
It wasn’t clear at the time when the South Korean tech giant would debut the device, which has long dominated the Android blogosphere. However, the company said it would begin mass production in a “matter of months.”
Arecent report from Yonhap News Agency, citing key insider sources, may shed a bit more light on the fabled foldable device. For one, YNA reported that Samsung would unveil its next Galaxy S10 flagship in February. The foldable smartphone, reportedly dubbed the Galaxy F, would launch one month later in March alongside another Galaxy S10 model with 5G support.
YNA’s sources indicate that the so-called Galaxy F would only be available in extremely limited supplies. Last week, Samsung President Koh Dong-jin said that shipment volume for the foldable smartphone might clock in at around 1 million through the first half of 2019.
Another factor which would limit sales of the device: price. Industry watchers told YNA that the Samsung folding smartphone could retail for around 2 million won — or $1,770 in U.S. currency. That’s far beyond the starting price of current flagship-tier smartphones.
Samsung is banking on the premise that the foldable display technology could launch the next wave of smartphones in an era where sales are stagnating across the globe.
In addition to Infinity Flex Display technology, the foldable Samsung smartphone will allow up to three applications running simultaneously — something that could come in handy for a device that’s looking like a cross between a smartphone and a tablet.
The Galaxy F, or whatever it ends up being called, won’t be the first foldable smartphone to hit the market, however. The Royole Flexpai, a Chinese competitor, became available for pre-order on Nov. 1 — with the device slated to begin shipping in December.
Apple, of course, has been working on its own folding display technology. In addition to numerous patents and patent applications hinting at its development, analysts have suggested that a foldable iPhone could debut as soon as 2020.