Samsung’s foldable smartphone, which it’s reportedly unveiling this year, will also have the functionality of a tablet with multitasking capabilities.
In an interview with CNET, DJ Koh, CEO of Samsung’s mobile business, said the approach will allow for a more portable tablet. But he left open the possibility that the foldable phone won’t come to market. “If the user experience is not up to my standard, I don’t want to deliver those kind of products,” he says.
But the device is in the works, and we could catch a glimpse of it at Samsung’s Developer Conference next month. Should it live up to Koh’s standard, it won’t be a “gimmick product” that will “disappear after six to nine months after it’s delivered,” Koh tells CNET.
It will probably also make its way to the US, he says. No Korea exclusives like the Galaxy Round (pictured above).
While it’s good to hear that Samsung is exploring new form factors and ideas, especially as innovation in the smartphone market is at somewhat of a standstill, Koh’s comments don’t quite match up with what he said last month at IFA.
“If the unfolded experience is the same as the tablet, why would [consumers] buy it?” he asked, according to CNBC. As such, it’s difficult to tell whether the foldable Galaxy phone will have the same capabilities as a tablet, tablet-like capabilities, or something else altogether. But since Samsung first showed off a flexible display in 2013 and rumors of Samsung’s flexible phone have been in the mill since 2016, the end result will truly need to live up to the hype.
Samsung isn’t the only horse in this race. As CNET notes, Huawei is reportedly working with BOE Technology Group to beat Samsung to the punch, but its product might be limited to just 20,000 to 30,000 units.