Samsung Electronics Expected to Mass-Produce Foldable Smartphones in November

Jan 09, 2018

Samsung Electronics is planning to mass-produce foldable Smartphones sometime this year.
Foldable Smartphones that can fold and unfold displays are new type (form factor) of mobile devices that were not seen before and they are expected to provide energy to Smartphone markets that have been making slow growth.
According to industries on the 8th, Samsung Electronics decided to mass-produce foldable Smartphones in November. Representative from multiple industries that are familiar with this matter said that Samsung Electronics recently switched development phase of foldable Smartphones to mass-production phase. Fact that it is working on mass-production phase indicates that it decided to release foldable Smartphones. It is understood that Samsung Electronics even established detailed schedule for production of foldable Smartphones. It is going to develop foldable displays by March and manufacture panels in September. It is planning to manufacture final products in November. It is assumed that Samsung Electronics will release actual foldable Smartphones in December or early next year.
There is also detailed information regarding its foldable Smartphones. It is likely that Samsung Electronics’ foldable Smartphones will have 7.3-inch flexible OLED displays that are folded inwardly. This allows people to use these Smartphones as normal Smartphones on regular days and use them as tables by unfolding them. Samsung Display will be in charge of manufacturing foldable displays. It is currently working on them so that foldable Smartphones do not leave any trace when they are folded and that foldable displays work very smoothly.
It is heard that Samsung Display is going to set up a private space at CES 2018, which is going to be held in Las Vegas and have its opening on the 9th (U.S. time), regarding foldable displays and introduce them to its major customers.
Smartphones have become popularized when Apple’s iPhones were released in 2007 and it is expected that they will open up a new generation after 10 years. It is likely that 2018 will be a starting year of foldable Smartphones. China’s LENOVO once introduced a prototype of a foldable Smartphone in 2017. Due to this reason, there is a chance that Samsung Electronics is not recorded as the first Smartphone manufacturer to release foldable Smartphones. However Samsung Electronics is the world’s number one and biggest Smartphone manufacturer. Also there are high expectations towards degree of completion of its foldable Smartphones as it has accumulated technologies regarding foldable Smartphones since many years ago. Considering Samsung Electronics’ influence in global electronic industries, there is a chance that Samsung Electronics’ foldable Smartphones will surpass Smartphone markets and even absorb tablet markets.
Samsung Electronics has been leading changes by putting out display technologies that were never seen before. Starting with ‘Galaxy Round’, which was the world’s first Smartphone that has a bent screen and was released in October of 2013, to ‘edge’ Smartphones that have both sides of displays bent, it has brought trend of flexible Smartphones to global markets. It will be interesting to see whether foldable Smartphones can also bring new trends and create new markets.
It is heard that Samsung Electronics set a goal to create a market that is one step higher than current premium Smartphone markets. “Foldable Smartphones are targeting ‘ultra-premium markets’ as they surpass both performance and price of current premium Smartphones.” said a representative for an industry. “Samsung Electronics’ goal is to provide performance, design, and usability that fit foldable Smartphones.”
Although there is even a detailed schedule for mass-production, Samsung Electronics is keeping it very discreet about it. “It is true that we are developing foldable Smartphones.” said a representative for Samsung Electronics. “However we cannot confirm any schedules for mass-production or release of foldable Smartphones due to our business strategies.”
Staff Reporter Yun, Keonil | benyun@etnews.com & Staff Reporter Bae, Okjin | withok@etnews.com

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