Update, January 12, 10:20: Following yesterday’s report that Samsung may launch a folding smartphone in Q3 2017, Business Korea has weighed in on the speculation, stating that the device is tentatively being called the Samsung Galaxy X. However, Business Korea also says that it would launch in 2018, as one of the folding display’s vital components, polyimide film (or tape), won’t be commercially viable until then.

Polyimide film is lightweight, flexible and resistant to heat and chemicals, making ideal for foldable devices. Business Korea says that Kolon Industries, a parts supplier for Samsung and LG, is preparing for the mass production of polyimide film in south Korea — where the aforementioned companies are headquartered — but that its manufacturing facilities wouldn’t be ready until next January.

Business Korea states: “Given the fact that it generally takes two to three months to supply parts, mass produce products and release, foldable smartphones [are] most likely to be commercialized at the end of the first quarter or early second quarter.”

That said, an industry official did mention a chance of seeing the device this year as a prototype before its official launch in 2018. Samsung has yet to comment on the speculation.

Original story follows below…

Samsung will announce a folding smartphone in Q3 2017, according to a report from The Korea Herald. Sources familiar with the matter told the Korean news site that Samsung is preparing 100,000 units of the device, which would also fold out to be used as a 7-inch tablet.

Samsung has been working on foldable smartphone displays for a number of years, with another display patent coming to light as recently as last week. Unlike many previous Samsung foldable phone concepts, however, the speculated device’s display would appear on the outside (as seen in the Lenovo prototype above) rather than the inside of the body.

See also:

Samsung is still working on that foldable smartphone

November 9, 2016

This news is in keeping with a Bloomberg report from last June, in which unnamed sources suggested that Samsung was preparing two folding devices for 2017. One device would fold inwards while the other, Bloomberg said, “will have a 5-inch screen when used as a handset, that unfurls into a display that’s as large as eight inches, similar to a tablet.”

It seems likely at this point that Samsung is developing an outward folding device, though the question of when it will launch hangs in the air. Some analysts suggest that they won’t be market-ready until 2018, while others suggest we’ll see them before the year’s end.

The Korea Herald says multiple sources have indicated that: “Despite technical completion, Samsung Electronics has not made a final decision about whether they will unveil the device this year because of marketability and profitability issues.”

Samsung may be keen to be the first major manufacturer to release such a product and beat its Korean rival LG, who is also working on such technology, but doing so would be a significant financial risk for the manufacturer. Perhaps, like its Galaxy Note Edge, the device will appear alongside a more traditional variant in a limited quantity to measure desirability first.

Would you be interested in such a smartphone? Let us know in the comments.

Scott Adam Gordon
Scott Adam Gordon is a European correspondent for Android Authority. Originally from the UK, Scott has been tinkering with Android phones since 2011 and writing about them full-time since 2014. He now lives in Berlin with three roommates he never sees. Befriend him on Twitter and Google+ at the links.
  • Flow

    lmao, all i want is a useable budget tablet with an s pen samsung. My tab 2 performs miles better than the tab 3 and 4.

  • theforevermachine

    All I need are the phones from Westworld. Samsung plz

  • ustill812

    Sounds promising but hows the battery life gonna be.

  • Lorenzo Pierre

    Sounds great. I am anxiously waiting to see what they bring to the market.

  • John Doe

    Hell Ya.. bring them on and see what the market says!

    Samsung will need something that will eclipse the new iPhone8 this year..
    If done right, this might just be the product to kill Apple’s 10yr anniversary phone!!

    • N&LH

      yeah all haters wish that

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    • Marius Tomas

      the market will say gimmick until Apple release it and suddenly it will become revolution in phone market haha……….

      • carlene.mueller

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      • John Doe

        Ya, Apple only reproduces what everyone else has already done in the past and say that they actually created it ..
        Funny thing is iSheep users drink it up like kool aid, while the rest of us know better!

        • Marius Tomas

          yea! sure some things Apple reproduce better….. or probably I should say USED to… like the first iPhone and modern smartphone we know today, cos before that smartphones there really crappy. but now after A.Jobs gone Apple really playing a catch-up and when I see some people still saying crappy things ( like cheap, plastic ,shit) about Samsung phones which there relevant maybe in 2012….. Sam got Long way. same as many over OEM’s. well anyways some fanboys really need to wake up from Apple perfect world dream
          … can’t wait seing their reactions when Apple finally releases first AMOLED phone….. since so many said untill now Many AMOLED burn up…. :D gonna be interesting seing their reaction.

    • Scr-U-gle

      Apple just increased market share and are on target for one trillion dollar from iOS alone.

      So you like being wrong, what’s new!

      • John Doe

        How am I not surprised that a worthless comment like that comes from a losertroll like you!
        Shouldn’t you be getting back to your Apple (isheep) gang??

        • Scr-U-gle

          Is that all you got when I present a fact instead of your hyperbole!

          Another drone whose lack of basic education shone through once again.

          • John Doe

            What facts??
            Oh.. oh Apple is going to make Trillions of $$ on their next iOS products (iphone) is not FACTS you retard!!!
            It’s called conjecture!! Look it up!! Ass-whipped Apple Troll!!
            The fact that you make up crap and associate it with what YOU believe are Facts is laughable ..
            Maybe if you had a BASIC EDUCATION (as you put it) you would be able to tell the DIFFERENCE between FACTS and CONJECTURE!!

            Here let me enlighten you..
            A FACT is something that HAS happened (something that is tangible)
            CONJECTURE is something that MIGHT happen (based on a best guess)

            There, you have just been schooled!!
            Now go tell your mom the you just learned something!!
            It’s easy to find her, her room is next to yours ..

  • Lex

    Only costs 1000 dollars

  • Daniel Herrera

    I’ll see how the first version performs then get the second version if everything goes well.

  • #Note5 IsBoss

    just a funny way at making people accept that their phones bend easier than a cracker

  • David Dickerson

    I look forward to seeing it. I will reserve further comments till I can get a hands on experience.

  • Dillan Rosales

    This sounds good and convenient. A phone and a tablet in a single folded device.