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Samsung is unsure if there is enough market demand for foldable phones

According to a report coming out of South Korea, Samsung is hesitant on the rollout of foldable smartphones and may focus on foldable tablets instead.
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November 10, 2016
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According to a report coming out of South Korea, Samsung is hesitant on the rollout of foldable smartphones and may focus on foldable tablets instead.

We’ve seen some images of what could be the long rumored Galaxy X, a futuristic foldable smartphone. In theory, a foldable smartphone would allow for an enormous screen that is simultaneously portable. However, according to The Korea Herald, the South Korean conglomerate is not convinced that there will be enough market demand for it.

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An anonymous source familiar with the matter reportedly confirmed that Samsung does in fact have the right technology and means to mass produce bendable phones. But the company is uncertain about whether people are willing to cough up a hefty sum for them:

Samsung is already capable of mass producing foldable phones – although premium models are usually made in small quantities – by late next year. But, the company is not sure whether there is market demand for the costly, foldable devices.

If Samsung determines that there is indeed a demand for foldable displays, the technology will be first used in tablets, according to the same source. Unlike foldable phones, the outward panels that foldable tablets are likely to use have a larger radius of curvature and therefore are less difficult to produce.

Unlike foldable phones, the outward panels that foldable tablets are likely to use have a larger radius of curvature and therefore are less difficult to produce.

Just last month, Kolon Industries unveiled its plans to mass produce transparent polyimide films called CPI, which would replace the hard glass found on today’s smartphones and tablets. These flexible films will go into mass production in 2018 and could be an essential component for future devices.

Now, we are not talking about fully flexible devices just yet. Like the concept we saw earlier, the first wave will consist of devices with one or two hinge points that can bend. After all, flexible internal parts like batteries are not yet ready for mass production.

After the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, Samsung is – rightfully so – extremely cautious about launching new devices, and not just in terms of their quality, but also their market potential. Whether or not Samsung will release a bendable smartphone is a complete unknown, but one thing is for sure: we won’t see them for quite some time.

Do you think foldable/bendable phones and tablets will be useful? Let us know by leaving a comment down below!