Samsung is reportedly hesitant to bring foldable smartphones to the market
Samsung has been continuously developing technologies that could one day pave the way for completely foldable smartphones. The company recently filed a patent application that gave us a closer look at what a foldable smartphone from Samsung could end up looking like. However, it is now being reported that the South Korean smartphone giant is hesitant to bring foldable smartphones to the market.
According to a report from Korea Herald, Samsung is cautious about the launch of its first foldable smartphone as the company is unsure as to whether there is enough demand in the market for such high-end smartphones. Moreover, a source within the industry claims that Samsung is becoming increasingly cautious in rolling out new hardware-related features after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.
“Samsung is already capable of mass producing foldable phones — although premium models are usually made in small quantities — by late next year. But, the company is not sure whether there is market demand for the costly, foldable devices. If (the market condition is) confirmed, foldable tablets — instead of smartphones — are likely to be unveiled with panels facing outward,” a source told Korea Herald.
There are two ways to make a foldable smartphone: outward bending and inward bending, and the latter is harder to implement due to a more pronounced curvature. However, there are other things which are causing a hindrance, and some of them are glass sheets and batteries. Kolon Industries will reportedly start mass production of bendable CPI films that will replace hard glass sheets.
Even though Samsung isn’t able to mass produce bendable batteries just yet, experts say that batteries don’t need to be bendable or flexible as of now. Chung Won-Seok, a researcher at HI Investment & Securities, said, “Batteries can still be placed in the flat sides instead of folded areas. In order to place the battery in the folded area, it should be rollable, for which the technology is still in the research and development stage.”
Right now, Samsung’s concerns regarding foldable smartphones are yield and market demand. The company isn’t sure whether people would buy foldable or bendable smartphones, which would come with sky-high price tags, especially after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. This is why the company has reportedly shifted its focus to offer an artificial intelligence-powered digital assistant for the Galaxy S8.