Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Science | By Carlton Santiago

Samsung plotting 'ultra-premium' foldable smartphone for 2018?

Samsung's game plan for 2017 involves manufacturing thousands of prototypes, testing it internally for quality and performance, and then handing it over to major customers like mobile network players to get an idea of market response. The report goes on to claim that mass-production is "likely" to take place in 2018. However, after Samsung Galaxy Note 7's ill-fated demise in the market previous year, Samsung is expected to bring forward an innovative design that can make the disaster a faded memory. Apparently, various Chinese handset makers such as Lenovo, Oppo and Vivo are rumored to be working as well with the help of local display makers like BOE, Visionox and AUO.

When Will Mass Production Begin?

The prototype was allegedly shown to a limited number of partners that have assisted Samsung in its development but no further details on the matter have been revealed.

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Since the expected production is in the third quarter of 2017, we can guess that Samsung could possibly showcase the new foldable smartphone at IFA 2017.

While Samsung maintains a lead in the race to market, competition out of China means the Korean giant might decide to make an announcement sooner than anticipated. Samsung usually introduces the Galaxy Note series, but that does not exclude the possibility of having a foldable smartphone presented to the crowd, or at least tease one for a later date. The new smartphone would offer "luxurious design and high-quality, " which would have a halo effect on Samsung's entire line-up. Following a test run on the Note Edge, Samsung expanded the concept on the Galaxy S6 Edge and S7 Edge, and now Edge design is set to replace flat screens completely on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Although their experiences in mass-production of flexible OLEDs are absurdly low compared to South Korean panel manufacturers, it seems that they have approached level of being able to mass-produce these panels by quickly securing technologies after years of R&D. This privilege comes back to the Galaxy X, the foldable smartphone that we hear about for a little while.

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