Samsung has another two foldables in the works
If there’s one thing for certain, 2019 will go down as the year of foldable smartphones. While they mightn’t exactly go mainstream just yet, given the prohibitive price points, we can expect the trickle to turn into a flood at some point. Samsung looks like it will be leading the charge with its recently revealed Galaxy Fold the first of what could be a three model foldable phone lineup.
A fresh report from Bloomberg says that Samsung is working on a flip phone with a display that folds inwards from top to bottom. This will be joined or followed by another device that is said to fold outwards like the Huawei Mate X. With smartphone sales starting to decline given the mainstream markets are largely saturated, smartphone makers are keen to find the next big thing that will spark burst of upgrade activity.
The flip phone could debut as soon as late this year, or possibly at CES or MWC next year. It is prototyping at least a couple of designs with one version featuring a secondary display on the outside, much like the Galaxy Fold. Whether it remains on the finished product could depend on how customers react to the way this works on the Fold. Flip phones still have a small foothold in the feature phone market, but the design is certainly ripe for a reboot with the emergence of foldable displays.
The device with the outward folding design was originally competing with the Fold to be the first to debut before Samsung decided to go with the inward folding approach. As it won’t require a secondary display, like the Huawei Mate X, it should also be considerably thinner. This will follow the flip phone to market at a later date. These newer foldable models could also come with in-display fingerprint readers.
In related news, Samsung is also said to be working on a design issue with the Fold where its panel starts to develop a crease after 10,000 folds. According to Bloomberg’s sources, Samsung is considering offering a free screen replacement as one possible solution to the issue -- as it is retailing for just under US$2,000, we certainly hope so. This is apparently one of the reasons behind Samsung’s reluctance to let reporters play around with the device at its unveiling late last month.