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Samsung's reluctance to make rollable phones may encourage other OEMs to try

Samsung's dominance in the foldable market may convince others to take interest in rollables before Samsung.
By
November 9, 2022
Samsung Logo IFA 2022
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • An analyst believes that Samsung has no interest in making a rollable phone.
  • The analyst believes Samsung lacks interest because of its strong grip on the foldable market.
  • They also believe that Samsung’s monopoly on the foldable market may lead to other OEMs pursuing sliding phones as a way to stand out from the market leader.

When it comes to screen technology, Samsung isn’t afraid to do a little experimenting. For example, during Display Week 2022, the South Korean tech giant showed off two prototype panels: one could fold twice and a multi-rollable. However, one analyst believes that Samsung has no interest in developing commercial rollable (slidable) phones and that could lead to others pursuing the option before Samsung.

According to The Korea Herald, CEO and top analyst of UBI Research, Yi Choong-hoon, believes Samsung is uninterested in making phones with expandable screens. His reasoning for Samsung’s lack of interest is that he believes the foldable and rollable phone markets overlap, which makes it “difficult for slidable phones to create its own market.”

Because of its tight grip over the foldable market, the analyst believes that Samsung will just continue to focus its attention on foldables instead of attempting to try out other form factors. Yi also points out that “For consumers who are familiar with folding phones like a book, sliding the screen may feel more complicated,” which would make a sliding phone less consumer-friendly.

However, he believes Samsung’s dominance in the foldable market may convince other OEMs to try and explore the possibilities of developing a commercial rollable phone — especially Chinese OEMs. In regards to Chinese phone makers, the analyst states:

Samsung Display has secured an unrivaled competitiveness, especially on related patents and production know-how. It won’t be easy for Chinese rivals to compete head-on. Chinese smartphone makers may seek to launch slidable phones in an attempt to differentiate themselves from Samsung. But the market potential seems limited.

As far as other manufacturers exploring the idea of a commercial rollable, just last month, Motorola revealed a new concept rollable that extends from the top. Unfortunately, it’s just a concept, so there’s no guarantee that the device will ever reach store shelves.