Samsung is holding its first analyst-oriented event in 8 years to quell the worries about flagship smartphone saturation - its bread and butter business. Actually, it just threw a pretty big number at analysts and investors - cumulative sales since the inception of the Galaxy S and Note lines have surpassed the 100th million handset this year
. This includes the first Galaxy S
, then the S II
, the Note
, S III
, Note II
, and the current Galaxy S4
and Note 3
, of course.
Certainly an impressive achievement, though the overall numbers are less than what Samsung was forecasting around this time last year. Global smartphone penetration is after all just 21 %, so Samsung expects the maturing flagship market to be offset with the exploding low- and mid-range ones, and is positioning accordingly, with attention paid to tablets as well. Samsung's boss JK Shin also reminded analysts that flagship demand will get a boost from the switch to LTE networks as well, and people will be changing their handsets more often to take advantage of the faster download speeds. "By 2017
," he mentioned, "half of all handset demand will be for LTE-equipped ones
Samsung also hinted what's in the pipeline going forward, with a specific takeaway about its YOUM
brand of flexible displays with plastic substrate. Surprisingly, the company divides its YOUM panels in "curved", "bended" and... wait for it... "foldable" ones.
Yep, as you see in the timeline it presented to investors above, the Galaxy Round
is somewhat of a trailblazer for the "curved" concept here, but Samsung is planning to also introduce phones with "bended" screens next year, while "foldable" display gear is scheduled to arrive in 2015. There's one little hurdle between the bendable and foldable sections, though, that Samsung has marked as "Technology barriers" on the timeline, but we cross fingers those get overcome in a year or two, and we receive something akin to Samsung's concept video below.