Samsung already acknowledged months ago that it’s working on a foldable smartphone and even said that the device won’t be a gimmick. What the company hadn’t said was when we could expect it to launch this much-awaited device. It has now put all speculation related to the foldable smartphone release to rest.
Samsung’s mobile division CEO DJ Koh has confirmed that the company will be releasing its foldable smartphone later this year. He added that it’s time for Samsung to “deliver” on a foldable device after consumer surveys done by it revealed that there is a market for this form factor.
Samsung foldable smartphone launch possible at SDC 2018
Earlier reports had suggested that the company might launch its foldable smartphone early next year. However, amid reports that Chinese rivals could beat it to market, Koh said three weeks ago that Samsung would very much like to be the first manufacturer in the world to release a proper foldable smartphone.
So it doesn’t come as a surprise that the company has now decided to unveil this device in the coming months. A confirmed release date has not yet been provided but Koh said that the device may be unveiled at the Samsung Developers Conference. SDC 2018 takes place November 7-8 in San Francisco, California.
Koh told CNBC that Samsung’s objective with this product has been to differentiate the device’s experience when it’s folded out from a tablet. He mentioned that users will be able to perform most key functions when the device isn’t folded out.
When they need to browse or see something in more detail that’s when they can fold out the device. “But even unfolded, what kind of benefit does that give compared to the tablet? If the unfolded experience is the same as the tablet, why would they (consumers) buy it?,” Koh said.
He mentioned that every feature, device and innovation that Samsung develops needs to have a meaningful message to its end customers. “So when the end customer uses it, (they think) ‘wow, this is the reason Samsung made it’,” he said.
Koh didn’t provide any details about the features and specifications of the foldable smartphone. He also didn’t say how much this device may cost.