At MWC019, we saw the official introduction of Samsung first foldable phone, Galaxy Fold. Although the market is not really enthusiastic about foldable phones, the Korean manufacturer is taking no chances and it wants to be a step ahead. Recent reports out of China says that Samsung Electronics is still developing two new foldable phones, seeking to seize the opportunity in this new market segment.
According to some Chinese sources, Samsung is developing a clamshell vertical folding phone (from top to bottom) and the other is an outward folding solution similar to the Huawei collapsible phone, Mate X. Samsung will launch the Galaxy Fold in April this year for $1980, which uses an inward-folding solution similar to a notebook. Samsung plans to release the vertical folding phones by the end of this year or early next year and is currently using the model to fine-tune the design. The phone will add a screen externally, but Samsung may remove it, depending on how the consumer reacts to the similar design used by the Galaxy Fold. Samsung may also add an on-screen fingerprint sensor to the foldable phone, as it did on the Galaxy S10 model last month.
Although it is too early to assess the demand for foldable screen phones, Samsung and other rivals are eager to lead Apple in the $495 billion smartphone industry, especially now that smartphone sales are slowing down. According to a video released in January, Xiaomi Group is also developing a dual-foldable mobile phone. As of now, Apple has not announced any foldable mobile phone plans and the company has expressed its worry that other companies are moving faster.
“Now no one knows what an ideal foldable phone should look like,” said Bryan Ma, vice president of research at IDC Equipment, a well-known research firm. “The timing of the trial is ripe. Many designs will not succeed. But industry players will learn valuable lessons from them.” Samsung has not officially verified or refuted this report.