Samsung, LG and other manufacturers are said to have been working on mobile devices with bending displays for years, but they could soon be off the ground. Recently, we heard that ZTE could have something in a similar ballpark coming in October; Samsung, however, might be the first to get a truly foldable smartphone out of the door, as it looks like one has just been certified in South Korea.
The news arrives via tech site LetsGoDigital, which claims that the National Radio Research Agency (NRRA) of the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) has just approved the Samsung device. The gadget, believed to be called the Samsung Galaxy X, houses model number SM-G888N0, with the “N0” portion reportedly denoting that it belongs to the Korean market.
On the certification result page, SM-G888N0 is classed as “Equipment of radio equipment for LTE mobile communication” [translated] — which could be a number of things — but a device with the same model number was previously seen on the Wi-Fi Alliance as a “smartphone.” It seems pretty likely that this relates to a phone or hybrid smartphone/tablet of some kind.
We didn’t learn anything else about the device from this news, but the certification suggests it’s going to be seen soon — at least in South Korea. Perhaps our first sighting in the West will be at CES 2018 in Las Vegas? Regardless, we’ll keep an eye out for it passing through the US FCC in the coming weeks for a better idea of when it will be unveiled.
If it does arrive in the near future, it would go head-to-head with Apple’s new iPhone X. That product sits alongside the iPhone 8 series — as the Galaxy X may arrive alongside the Galaxy S9 series — sporting a new take on the traditional iPhone formula. It would be exciting to see these handsets compete against each other at the same time, but as we’ve already seen a few bezel-less devices released ahead of the iPhone X from major manufacturers, Samsung’s folding phone may be the most interesting for enthusiasts.