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Samsung pitches its foldable phone as the next phase of innovation


Last updated: January 15th, 2019 at 09:58 UTC+02:00

Samsung is understandably hyping up its upcoming foldable smartphone. It showed off the device’s Infinity Flex Display at SDC 2018 in November and will soon be showing off the actual device. The company has hinted that we might get to see its foldable smartphone on February 20 alongside the Galaxy S10.

With global smartphone sales slowing down amid concerns that smartphone innovation has peaked, Samsung is pitching the foldable smartphone as the next phase of technological innovation. It feels that this will make the smartphone more central to users’ lives more than ever before.

The foldable form factor could spur growth in the market

Hark-sang Kim, SVP and Head of Visual R&D Team at Samsung’s mobile division, writes that a larger display is key to unlocking future smartphone experiences powered by technologies like 5G, AI and AR. However, current trends dictate that the size of a smartphone’s display can only be as large as the device. Samsung decided to adopt the foldable form factor to overcome this limitation.

He writes that developing a new form factor became the central focus of Samsung’s innovation efforts. It wanted to resolve the contradiction between screen size and portability. The idea was to increase the screen size considerably without compromising on the portability. Samsung first showed off the prototypes of its flexible display at CES 2011. It has taken seven years to perfect the technology and get it ready for a consumer product. It made major investments to create a new material that changes the anatomy of the smartphone display.

A natural and durable folding experience was created which can withstand hundreds of thousands of folds. This form factor also forced Samsung to rethink placements of crucial components like the battery, camera and cooling system. It had to develop a new UX as well to ensure that apps can seamlessly transition between the smaller and larger displays.

Kim obviously did not touch on any specifics about the availability or launch of this device. However, given the information that now pouring out of the company, there’s a solid chance we’ll get to see the foldable phone on February 20.

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