- Samsung’s DJ Koh said the company would launch a foldable phone this year.
- The company could unveil it in November at the Samsung Developer Conference.
- Koh also confirmed that the phone will be usable while both folded and unfolded.
Samsung will launch a foldable phone by the end of this year, according to mobile division CEO DJ Koh. Speaking to CNBC, he said the company could unveil the phone at the Samsung Developer Conference which takes place Nov. 7-8 in San Francisco. He added that that development of the device has “nearly concluded,” although warned that the process is “complicated.”
As well as commenting on the release date of the phone, Koh confirmed rumors that the device will be usable while the phone is folded. This suggests that either part of the display will be visible while the phone is folded or there will be a second screen on the outside. He also said that Samsung is trying to differentiate the experience of using the phone while unfolded from that of using a tablet.
Speaking to CNBC, Koh said, “You can use most of the uses … on foldable status. But when you need to browse or see something, then you may need to unfold it. 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?”
Previous rumors have suggested that the Samsung would be ready to begin mass production of a foldable device at the end of 2018 for release in the first quarter of 2019. Koh’s comments to CNBC suggest that the company is on — or slightly ahead of — schedule.
Should Samsung release the foldable phone by the end of the year, it would likely be the first smartphone manufacturer to release such a device. It’s been rumored that Huawei was attempting to beat Samsung to the punch by releasing a limited number of foldable phones very early next year. It now appears that unless Huawei can bring the release of its device further forwards, this won’t be enough.
Little else is known about the Samsung foldable phone. However, recent rumors suggest it will have an inward folding 7.3-inch display that will be usable when folded at a variety of angles.