Remember those rumors that the Galaxy Fold
successor will be a flip phone with a horizontal instead of a vertical crease? Well, Samsung may be hard at work on the Fold 2 already, hints a report
from the Taiwanese supply chain today, citing unnamed industry sources.
We'd wager to guess that these supply chain sources are none other than Taiwan's hinge makers, as they have apparently
expanded capacity to accommodate the expected push into foldable phones from Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Motorola and others that are circling the wagons around the next-generation phone design.
For the moment, Taiwan is the main supplier of MIM (metal injection molding) hinges, with the one on Huawei's Mate X in particular requiring about a 100 components, so there will be plenty of bread for that butter when it comes to Taiwanese suppliers. The industry insiders chime in further:
Of the foldable smartphones' key components, bendable OLED panels are mainly produced by Korea- and China-based makers, while hinges are primarily supplied by Taiwan-based manufacturers including SZS, Jarllytec, Sinher Technology and First Dome.
At the moment, most of the hinge makers' MIM capacities are used to manufacture hinges for rotatable notebooks, Apple's new MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and AirPod's charging box.
Jarllytec currently has five in-house MIM batch furnaces in operation. Although the company installed two more in January, they will not join mass production until the third quarter. The company also has external partners and has access to seven of their batch furnaces... it will consider further expansion if demand from foldable smartphones begins to take off
Galaxy Fold 2 release date
The Fold 2 will, surprise, surprise, be released in 2020, claims the report and not much else but the screen size is known about its specs. We'd assume that it will be stuffed to the gills with everything the Galaxy S11 will have to offer, and then some, though.
Samsung's 6.7" Galaxy Fold heir will reportedly bend around the horizontal axis, and will reportedly have just a small 1" screen on the outside for date/time/notification icons. That's quite a clever and eventually cheaper to produce approach than the current Fold concept. With its next foldable phone effort, Samsung is reportedly gunning for portability instead of screen space, tipped the industry insiders.
The Galaxy Fold is more in the tablet realm when unfurled, while its successor is supposed to be a fairly compact clamshell when tucked in your pocket, and even when open the 6.7" display is exactly the size of the one on the Galaxy S10 5G
That's more like what we imagined a foldable handset would bring to the table. Despite the issues that plagued the Fold preview units, Samsung is reportedly far from giving up on the category, and is planning to separate its foldable phone efforts in a different class of its smartphone portfolio altogether.
Samsung is planning to finally launch the Galaxy Fold in the summer, after the spring release fell through, and if it has indeed resolved the teething problems with the handset, we could be witnessing the dawn of a whole new era of cell phones.
As for the Fold 2, Samsung will reportedly start sourcing its respective 6.7" bendy display in November, indicating a mass production and launch timeframe for the first half of 2020. If Samsung is prepping something along the RAZR vein, we can only commend its efforts, as, let's face it, nobody wants to lug around a pocket Bible of a phone with a visible crease in the middle that costs two grand to begin with. We would be pretty hyped to see a Galaxy Fold clamshell and not only for old times' sake but as an actual practical solution to our big-screen phone woes.