It has been rumored for a few years now that Samsung is working on a foldable smartphone. We’ve heard countless rumors and seen many patents but Samsung is yet to launch such a device. Recent reports suggested that it may be out in early 2018 and while Samsung itself said that it would launch the foldable smartphone in 2018, it’s unclear when the company might do that.
Foldable OLED panels are part of Samsung’s 2018 strategy
It was reported earlier this month that Samsung will finalize the foldable smartphone’s design in March this year and start producing the foldable OLED panels for it in September. That meant we’d see Samsung officially unveiling the much-rumored foldable smartphone either in December or early 2019.
Samsung mentions in its Q4 2017 earnings release today that its OLED panel is going to improve its competitiveness in the premium segment this year “with the release of foldable panels.” Since the company sources OLED displays for its smartphones from its display-making subsidiary, that part of the company has to start producing foldable OLED panels before the mobile division can put a device together and launch it.
Samsung also mentions in its press release that the mobile division is going to try and differentiate its smartphones by adopting cutting-edge technologies “such as foldable OLED displays.” This goes to show that Samsung is still very much sticking with the idea of launching a foldable smartphone and that it will seriously work to that end this year.
It was reported a few weeks ago that the foldable smartphone will have a 7.3-inch foldable OLED panel. The device would fold inwards to act as a phone and outwards to double as a tablet. Samsung Display is said to be working on a panel that folds in and out smoothly without showing any creases.
Samsung hasn’t given any timelines for its foldable panels in the press release but at least it’s confirmation that the company has made them a part of its strategy for 2018. As it stands, though, it’s unlikely that the foldable smartphone will be released by the end of this year.