Samsung hopes to release foldable phone in 2018

If there’s one thing that could take eyes off the iPhone X (and iPhone 8 and 8 Plus) launch (momentarily, anyway), it’s the announcement reported by Bloomberg that Koh Dong-jin (President of Samsung's mobile business), thinks Samsung could finally release a smartphone with a bendable OLED display in 2018,

And it’s been a long time coming. Samsung first revealed a foldable prototype called Youm in 2013. Last year, images of what the phone – dubbed “Galaxy X” – could potentially look like surfaced on SamMobile.

Flexible smartphones are hardly new concepts. Samsung used flexible screen tech in its Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and the LG G Flex phones also curved at the sides - and HTC's U11 is a squeezable design. But the 'foldable' concept takes the 'flexible' one even further. Lenovo unveiled a concept smartphone with the flexibility to bend around your wrist, but that doesn’t look to be coming to fruition anytime soon.

Samsung hopes its “Galaxy X” will be the world’s first truly foldable phone. It would certainly be some claim. The announcement comes just days before the recently launched Galaxy Note 8 flagship starts shipping in the UK, although which side of the Note 8 the foldable phone would sit is unclear.

However, Koh stated in a news conference in South Korea there are still hurdles to overcome which could push back the release if they’re not solved. Perhaps we should take the 2018 promise with a pinch of salt, then.

Koh also reiterated Samsung’s work with Harman (lately a division of Samsung) to develop a smart speaker to rival the likes of Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod and Google Home, using the company's Bixby personal voice assistant. Few details have been released on the speaker, but if it wants to get in on a market that will have several players by the end of the year, it needs to be pretty soon.

2018 could be a particularly big year for Samsung.

Image credit (including inexplicable numbers): SamMobile


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.