Samsung primed to release a foldable smartphone this year

Ian Hardy

January 7, 2016 4:11pm

Samsung has been working on folding display for a number of years, and claimed it would bring one to market as early as 2014. Now, it’s looking like this year will be the first time a foldable smartphone is sold to consumers. According to a number of analysts at HSBC, Samsung will unveil the device during the second half of the year.

“We think Samsung will likely introduce foldable OLED smartphones as early as 2H16, versus market expectations of 2017, as the company tries harder to regain market share. In our view, foldable OLED smartphones could transform Samsung’s smartphone business, with the potential to become a ‘killer’ feature in the premium smartphone space given that (1) a foldable OLED model would provide it with a high degree of product differentiation; (2) it gives users the best of both world’s – namely, a larger screen size in a smaller form factor; and (3) it could enable the company to capture market share in both the smartphone and tablet markets with a single product,” said the note to clients.

Earlier this week, LG showed off its 1200×810 pixel 18-inch rollable display that measures only 3 mm thick.

SourceBI
  • Omar

    I honestly don’t understand why people would want this? Like its cool technology and all, don’t get me wrong… But it seems like more of a gimick than anything else.

    Is there any practical use for a foldable smart phone? Didn’t people hate on Apple for doing this with the iPhone 6 Plus?

    • Jefferson Won

      I dunno..maybe a possible 10 inch phone that you can put into your pocket? Literally redefining term called a phablet

    • Homer J. Simpson

      Did you not read the part “larger screen size but smaller form factor”?

    • Omar

      No, I did see that. I just don’t recall ever hearing complaints about a tablet being too big to put in ones pocket. If its a 2-in-1 phone and tablet it will probably be too expensive for the average consumer to afford.

      It’s innovative. It’s cool to think about. I’m not even hating on Samsung. I guess I’m boring and think my rectangle design is flawless.

    • abc

      You will be changed by samsung. Like many people change their way listen to music, using phone etc by apple…this time round is samsung to change people.

    • Gawdzila

      “I just don’t recall ever hearing complaints about a tablet being too big to put in ones pocket.”

      This is the primary reason I do not own or even want a tablet. If I am home I have a more powerful computer with a bigger screen as well as a TV. It is not sufficiently portable that I’d take it anywhere I wouldn’t take my laptop, yet it isn’t as powerful or flexible, can’t run useful software like Word or Photoshop, and it is a pain in the a** to type e-mails (or anything else) on. All the problems of a phone with none of the portability. Why would I want one? Sure I like the big screen real estate, but if I can’t carry it with me then what good is it?

    • GPman

      Phones are getting so big now and don’t fit in many pockets. I know I can’t get a 5.5+ phone cause I have no way to carry it. So the ideas of an even bigger phone folding up to the size of my 4.7″ is awesome news to me.

      Don’t tell me a 8″ screen phablet folding up to the size of a business card someday isn’t cool.

    • Omar

      Oh it’s definitely cool, I just personally think it’ll be a fad. Google the Sony P tablet. Though I’m sure Samsung will implement this better than Sony did.

    • GPman

      Well that’s 4yr old tech on dual screens. It just wasn’t ready yet.

      I don’t think it’s a fad, phones are getting bigger and bigger. With a bendable screen you can just fold it in half and snap it back open into normal looking phone. I see absolutely no reason to think that’s not going to be a hit. What other options do we have for this ever growing screen size?. Tables and iPads will go this way too.

    • Omar

      Oh definitely. Samsung will perfect it if anything, I don’t doubt that for a second.

      I’d be surprised to see a majority of smartphones (not phablets) supass 5.5 inches, at least for the next few years. I have fairly small hands but am still able to use my OnePlus One one-handed, granted sometimes uncomfortably, but one-handed nonetheless. It also fits in my pocket (I don’t wear skinny jeans). It has a 5.5 inch screen.

      Keep in mind, even if the hypothetical 6 inch foldable smartphone is 4.7 inches, when unfolded it will be 6 inches. Or whatever larger size the screen actually is. That large form factor will still be a factor if you want to fully utilise your phone, so it is still a phablet, which some people just don’t need or want. The only difference is it will fit in your pocket.

    • GPman

      Well, I don’t know about where you live, but here in Hong Kong, people love their huge note+ sized phones. It is extremely common to see two hands on a big phone for usage. They use it for gaming but very very commonly they use it for TV shows/ movies. So being able to fold it up would be of value here.

      I’d be curious to know the results of a survey that asks if people more often one hand or two hand their phone.

    • abc

      VAIO P tablet failed because not many people even heard about it. If it is come out from apple, it will be innovative and many people want it. Flexible OLED, apple will lag behind samsung and LG by 2 years. They already work hand on hand with JDI to avoid over relying on korean supplier for their 2018 iphone display.

    • Domino67

      Lol foldable 6 plus. I don’t think the other commenter caught your point.

    • Omar

      I’m glad somebody caught it XP

    • Gawdzila

      Have you no imagination? If phone screens can flex and fold, there is no longer anything forcing them to have the standard form factor. All of a sudden smartphone “design” means far more than how to make the prettiest rectangle, and manufacturers can differentiate themselves with things other than just camera and hardware specs.

      What about a phone that bends around your wrist, doubling as a bracelet-style smart watch? A tube that can unfurl like a scroll? Segmented designs with multiple hinges that allow for a number of different shapes and sizes? Almost literally anything.

      Far from a fad, I think that the availability of fold-able screens is soon going to become central to the entirety of smartphone design.

    • Omar

      I’ll stick to my rectangle. I guess I’m boring like that lol. I don’t see any need, personally, to have a phone that wraps around my wrist or rolls into a scroll, or folds like a book.

      Though I do think this technology will be great for smart watches. And I know not everybody is content with the rectangle spec wars. To each their own.