Samsung CEO Hints Foldable Smartphone Is Coming This Year

Samsung’s foldable smartphone will be unveiled this fall, according to the CEO of the company’s mobile division. DJ Koh told CNBC that surveys show people are interested in the product, and “it’s time to deliver.”

Koh explained that the foldable phone will be different from a tablet but did not reveal how the device’s folding screen will actually operate.

“You can use most of the uses … on foldable status,” Koh told attendees at the IFA electronics show in Berlin. “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?”

“So, every device, every feature, every innovation should have a meaningful message to our end customer. So, when the end customer uses it, (they think) ‘wow, this is the reason Samsung made it’.”

It’s believed that Samsung’s device will feature a bendable screen as opposed to a traditional flip phone that uses a hinge.

The highly anticipated phone may be unveiled at the Samsung Developer Conference in November in San Francisco. It’s unclear when the device will be available for consumers. Koh noted that the development process is “complicated,” adding that Samsung is almost done with it.

The product launch should be a boon for Samsung, which saw a 20 percent drop in year-on-year sales in the second quarter of 2018, according to CNBC. Samsung may be able to charge higher prices for the foldable phone as it faces competition from Apple and Huawei.

Analysts predict that Samsung’s foldable phone will cost consumers about $2,400 CAD, CNET reported in June. The phone will reportedly have a 7.3-inch OLED screen that will shrink to 4.5 inches when folded.

Manufacturers such as ZTE have already developed foldable phones. The 2017 Axon M features two screens that fold out into a tablet; however, it uses a hinge. Samsung’s device is expected to have either one large foldable OLED display or two OLED screens that fold face to face with practically no gap in between them when open, reported BGR.

Meanwhile, the company is planning on adding lower-priced phones to its mid-tier market, Koh noted. The aim is to target millennials who don’t want to spend as much money on a smartphone.

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