Samsung has announced that the company remains interested in the concept of foldable phones, but such a smartphone would be still difficult to design, produce and launch.
Many customers are waiting intently for the rumored Galaxy X, which allegedly features a foldable 4K display and was supposed to be launched by Samsung in 2017. The bad news is that the South Korean high-tech giant has delayed its plans to launch foldable handsets.
PhoneArena reports that President of Samsung Mobile Koh Dong-jin announced recently that it is still not possible to produce consumer-ready foldable phones using current available technology. He added that the company is definitely planning to launch a foldable phone in the near future, because such a new device would bring great innovation in the phone industry.
Koh explained that in order for an innovative foldable smartphone to be designed and manufactured, some serious "changes in software and user experience" are needed. He added that the smartphone industry will take time before it manages to implement these kinds of changes. Koh's statement has been made at a press conference during the Unpacked event for the Galaxy Note 7.
According to ZDNet, there were speculations earlier in June suggesting that Samsung is preparing to launch a foldable smartphone in 2017. However, in order to produce a foldable smartphone, Samsung needs to utilize a very different UX and software. The South Korean company has conducted multiple tests in order to evaluate if it can prepare a foldable phone by the end of this year.
Samsung Electronics' display making division called Samsung Display keeps showing foldable mobile screens at trade shows. The interest for foldable headsets remains high. But mass producing a smartphone with a folding display remains difficult. Producing the foldable display at a cost that justifies mass production is actually the biggest challenge in this initiative.
For the moment, the South Korean tech giant is focusing its resources on increasing capacity for the production of small-sized OLED panels. The overall cost will go down once more lines dedicated to the production of curved displays become operational. With just a few tweaks, these production lines dedicated for curved displays can be changed to produce foldable displays.
One of the issues in producing a foldable mobile screen is that the durability becomes an issue the more bendable the screen becomes. The whole concept of a foldable smartphone will change depending on how bendable it is. For instance, the foldable smartphone could allow being folded and placed on the deck of a car like a stand. Or, it could be folded in half so that its users can put it in their jacket pocket.