Surprise, surprise. A new report claims that Samsung has two new foldable smartphones in development. This shouldn’t surprise anybody since Samsung is taking its mobile business in a new direction with the Galaxy Fold. There was little chance of it being a one-time device. Having shown what it can do with a foldable display, it’s only a matter of time before Samsung rolls out additional devices with further improvements.
Samsung has not commented on the report. It mentions that one of the devices will have a clamshell-like design. The other would fold out like the Huawei Mate X. The Galaxy Fold has an inward folding design with a secondary cover display.
New foldable smartphones in development at Samsung
The Bloomberg report mentions that Samsung will unveil its vertically folding phone later this year or early next year. It’s said to be using mock-ups to fine-tune the design. It has been designed with an extra screen on the outside. Samsung may decide to remove it based on feedback for the Galaxy Fold’s cover display.
Samsung doesn’t make a lot of clamshell devices anymore with the W series being the only exception. Could this form factor mean that the next W series handset will be a vertically foldable smartphone? That does remain a possibility. However, the W series has largely been limited to China but this may be the first time it gets released elsewhere.
The outward folding smartphone already exists as a prototype at Samsung since it was among the designs shortlisted for the Galaxy Fold. This device is said to arrive after the clamshell is released. It’s said to be thinner because it won’t have an external cover display. Samsung may also bring the in-display fingerprint sensor to its foldable lineup.
Samsung is also said to be working on improving the Galaxy Fold’s display durability. It’s trying to get rid of a crease which appears on the display panel after it has been folded around 10,000 times. Samsung may offer free screen replacements after the product is released because of this.
A source cited in the report mentions that this imperfection develops on the protective film which covers the touch sensor bonded with the underlying display. That’s said to be one of the reasons why the Galaxy Fold was kept safely out of our hands at MWC last month. A spokeswoman for Samsung said that the Galaxy Fold was kept in a glass case because it wanted more attention for the Galaxy S10, not because there’s a problem with the quality of its foldable smartphone.
The Galaxy Fold is going to be released next month with prices starting at $1,980. Samsung will carefully control the retail experience for this luxury product and provide additional aftercare services to customers. Many would be interested in seeing if it’s able to bring the costs down with the upcoming models. That’s the expectation from future generations of foldable smartphones and if it’s able to deliver, Samsung will be able to establish dominance in the foldable smartphone segment.