It has long been rumored that Samsung is planning to release a smartphone with a flexible display at some point, allowing users to fold and unfold their handset as needed. Well, guess what? The rumors were true. Samsung is in fact prepping a foldable smartphone and it will see the light of day sometime by the end of the year.
This is no longer speculation. Samsung's mobile boss DJ Koh confirmed the company's plans to CNBC, saying plainly "it's time to deliver" on a foldable phone. Why now, though? Samsung conducted consumer surveys on the topic and now feels confident there is a market for a folding phone (not to be confused with a flip phone).
Unfortunately, Koh was not willing to share any specifics about the foldable display. Those details will have to wait. However, he did talk a little about the thinking that guided Samsung to this point, and what the company hopes to achieve.
"You can use most of the uses ... on foldable status. But when you need to browse or see something, then you may need to unfold it. But even unfolded, what kind of benefit does that give compared to the tablet? If the unfolded experience is the same as the tablet, why would they [consumers] buy it?," Koh said at IFA 2018.
Koh added that "every device, every feature, every innovation should have a meaningful message" to its customers. "So when the customers uses it, [they think] 'Wow, this is the reason Samsung made it'," Koh said.
Samsung is not afraid to take risks. For example, the original Note debuted in late 2011 amid skepticism that there was a market for a phablet device. Now seven years later, the Galaxy Note 9 is blazing the same trail, and to a receptive audience. Could Samsung be on the verge of another market trend that will stand the test of time?
We'll get our answer to that question very soon.