The first foldable smartphones may come from Samsung in Q4 2017


The next step in the evolution of smartphones could very well be foldable devices. Major players in the smartphone industry like Apple, Microsoft, and LG, patented their foldable designs since many years ago, but none had the courage to start mass production.

But that might change by the end of this year, as Samsung is expected to make the first move in this unexplored territory. Sources from Taiwan's handset supply chain claim Samsung is already working on its first foldable smartphone and will begin small production of the device in Q4 2017.

The information comes in line with previous reports stating that Samsung could showcase a foldable smartphone prototype later this month at Mobile World Congress (MWC). The said prototype will feature a flexible AMOLED display, but the rest of the phone's specs are unknown at the moment.

Even though Samsung is expected to start small production of its first foldable smartphone by the end of 2017, due to technical issues involving manufacturing and reliability of PI (polyimide-based plastic cover), mass production won't be possible until next year.

PI is a key component for the manufacturing of foldable smartphones, and Samsung has yet to refine the manufacturing method to meet the reliability and quality requirements for mass production. That being said, Samsung is unlikely to kick off mass production of foldable smartphones until the second half of 2018.

source: Digitimes

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33 Comments

1. HillaryClinton2020

Posts: 191; Member since: Feb 08, 2017

Make sure you can invent a battery that can be bent safely as well, to avoid further overheating :)

24. phljcnth

Posts: 553; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Why bend the battery when they can put one in just one leaf or in each?

25. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

Looking at the obvious troll name of the OP I don't think it really cares what words you put in your replies to it.

2. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I'm not even interested in this BS, shit is worse than a curved display.

4. azimesmail

Posts: 264; Member since: Nov 23, 2014

Could have some uses, like a tablet that folds down to the size of a phone.

5. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

That tablet would have to be small to begin with for that to work, unless it could fold 2-3 times but then how thick would it be.

7. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

7inch tablet with 3:4 ratio (and minimum bezels) could be mid-folded to the size of 5inch smartphone (with weird 3:2 ratio)

8. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

So a small tablet like I said lol, what is the point in a 7in tablet other than making it some foldable BS that ppl will probably go crazy over. I for one don't even like 8in tablets.

10. Alpha1

Posts: 100; Member since: Jul 06, 2016

If you're not interested, why did you post in this article? You think Samsung only caters to you? Guess what, they don't give a damn about what you think. You're a nobody. Samsung will still be around long after you are dead and buried 6-feet underground. If people go crazy go crazy for it, Samsung is doing something right.

12. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I posted because I wanted to diss foldable phone, don't get me wrong i like samsung I just think foldable phones just like curved screens are a joke. Also I want to be cremated not buried.

20. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Surely the first ones will be gimmicky crap, but hey, think of the possibilities once the technology matures. We need these kind of stepping stones, you can't just jump right into the future tech.

14. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Funny how the same people said the same thing when I got the original Galaxy Note: "Why would you want a 5.3 inch phone?" Sure enough years later it turned into one of the most profitable lines that Samsung has ever produced.

15. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I had that phone and I did love it, actually I had the LTE version which isn't exactly the original but still I had it lol.

21. Alpha1

Posts: 100; Member since: Jul 06, 2016

I remember when I first got my GS4, everyone with an iPhone asked me how I can use such a big phone. They also kept asking how I changed TV channels and what "app" I was using. That was years ago, how times have changed.

23. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I played so many pranks on teachers and professors with my GS4's IR blaster by messing with over head projectors lol, Good times. It really pissed me off when companies quit putting IR blasters in there phones smh.

29. mahima

Posts: 727; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

always whining about no innovation, then complain anything thats different from mainstream that's just a rumour...hmnn

32. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I don't whine about no innovation lol. I'm not really complain either, I'm simply saying I don't like it.

30. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

hey, now you can have a large phone that doesnt make it look like your "happy to see me" as it curves around your leg instead of making a hump in your pants. hahaha

3. Emmanuelz

Posts: 222; Member since: Aug 01, 2013

Not practical at all in a time when everyone constantly checks their phones and text all the time who the heck is gonna fold and unfold a phone every other minute. Plus with phones coming out with nearly no bezel phones will be smaller and more pocketable. All this foldable and bendable crap is all gimmick

13. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

You do know that flip phones existed for a long period of time right? Like all of your concerns about "checking your phone for text all the time" has already been solved like 10 years ago: http://www.todayscloseout.com/v/vspfiles/photos/MOTOROLA-RAZR2-V8-RB-2.jpg It's called an external display that shows all of your texts and notifications and what not.

18. Emmanuelz

Posts: 222; Member since: Aug 01, 2013

To compare this to a flip phone of back in the day is stupid. Those flip phones cant do have the s**t of what this would do because for the most part use those phones to make calls and hang up. People now browse the web, use all these social media wtf want a secondary screen just for notifications people unlock their phones just for the hell of it

26. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

We had contracts based on how many thousand text messages we spammed to everybody we knew. Yes, the only games back then were things like Snake, but, the phones were definitely yanked out of the pocket every 5 minutes in the feature phone days.

33. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

You are aware flip phones are still popular in Asian markets and their external displays are the size of like 4 inches and above? You can do all the things you listed on modern flip phones.

28. dnomadic

Posts: 400; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

You are right. That comment may give birth to an evolution of foldable phones before the folding phone is released. I think success will be determined by the inclusion of a second screen like the Yota phone. A small e-ink screen on there rear would prove beneficial.

6. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

it isn't released yet, and people already searching reason to hate it, lol... personally I'll get one as secondary phone if it's good enough.. the reason: - It could be a pocketable tablet, and bigger screen is always great for media consumption and games - bigger screen also great for surfing web, and doing document related work - even better if it have S-pen :D - it wont crack if it's dropped in folded state btw, will it use GorillaGlass except that elastic part? or they'll use plastic screen protector? :-/

9. AlikMalix unregistered

If I was to pick the next breakthru in tech on a device - I'd choose that they devote 90% of resources R&D into wireless charging, or at least new battery tech that can fit 1 week of juice in our devices, and put foldable screens on the back burner.

11. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Believe it when I actually see it. There will always be limitations when it comes to physics (and science in general).

16. diggie32

Posts: 388; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

That middle render looks like it would be good for a gameboy advance emulator

17. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Why even mention Apple in this article? Sounds like you are trying to give them credit then Samsung just came along and did it. Apple having a patent for it when they can even produce a normal oled screen, never mind a foldable super amoled one..... Disgusting

22. Alpha1

Posts: 100; Member since: Jul 06, 2016

Exactly, Apple is about 20 years behind on Samsung with this tech.

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