Samsung announces it will launch folding phone next year

Samsung announces it will launch folding phone next year [Image: gruizza via iStock]

Samsung has announced it will likely be launching a Galaxy Note smartphone with a folding screen in 2018.

Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung’s mobile business, confirmed the company is aiming to release a smartphone using its folding OLED screen technology next year. However, he explained that the company has to overcome a number of obstacles in order to achieve that.

The announcement came as Samsung’s biggest rival Apple unveiled their completely redesigned iPhone X. It is even being rumoured that the folding device will be called the Galaxy Note X.

Samsung first produced a prototype of a folding phone in 2011. It worked, but it lost roughly six per cent of its brightness in the middle, where it folded. The device was not meant for commercial purposes, but the following year the company began work on what it hoped would be a folding phone for users. However, a report claimed that Samsung was having problems with its development and would have to delay the production.

In 2013, Samsung demonstrated a bending phone at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013, called Youm. The company followed this up with the Galaxy Round, which it claimed was the world’s first smartphone with a curved display. However, there was no sign of a folding phone.

LG and Lenovo have both attempted to create a tablet that can fold into a smartphone, but neither company has set out an official timeline for the commercial release of these devices.

Now, however, Samsung seems to be nearing completion of the folding phone it has been promising.

Whether the company can deliver the device when it plans to remains to be seen. There will be a great deal of attention focused on Samsung, however, to establish if it can achieve what it has set out in what it called its “roadmap for the Note series”.