After much speculations and rumor mills churning around, Samsung’s first foldable phone is ‘right around the corner’, announced Mr. Gregory Lee, President and CEO of Samsung Telecommunications America at the Rutberg's Future: Mobile conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif.
"I think it’s relatively right around the corner..It just has been very difficult to manufacture at a reasonable cost," he said. Lee also expressed hope for the 5G to take lead sooner than anticipated.
Players such as Lenovo, LG, and Chinese startup Moxi Group have already come up with their versions of foldable smartphones, posing a serious threat to Samsung.
Lenovo demonstrated two prototypes to press at its Tech World conference last week – a smartphone that bends around the wrist and a tablet that folds in half. Although they are prototypes, they clearly hint that the manufacturer is getting ready to make their launch sooner.
On the other hand, Samsung had announced the concept of foldable smartphone way back in 2013. But, the company has not released any official prototype yet. During the demonstration of Lenovo’s foldable prototypes, Company CTO Peter Hortensius said onstage that the foldable gadgets are still pretty expensive to make, a similar concern Samsung’s Head Mr. Lee raised about the foldable smartphones. Both the companies seem to be working on bringing down the cost factor of their foldable devices.
Although there are no official talks on the launch dates of any of these smartphones, there were several rumors that said Samsung’s foldable smartphones will appear in 2017. Some tech reports even expect it to appear alongside the launch of Samsung Galaxy S8. The current announcement from Mr. Lee almost hints the same.