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June 29, 2018

Samsung may bend the rules with its folding phone

by John_A

Future Samsung phones with folding screens may not simply fold in one place, resulting in a clamshell-like phone some will remember from the past, as has been speculated. There’s no rule that says a bendable phone must only bend once either. Samsung’s new foldable OLED screens, which are about to start a test production run, may fold in a way that leaves part of the screen visible, enabling you to see notifications and alerts, and even bend again to close fully.

The screen may be fitted to the first Samsung folding phone expected to launch early next year, which is being rumored as the Galaxy X, according to South Korean news source ETNews. It’s stated the display will measure 7-inches, which is larger than screens fitted to its Galaxy Note line. Any fold would make such a large phone more convenient to carry around, yet not sacrifice screen size when the time comes to use the device.

What’s not clear from the report is whether the screen will only fold in one way, where two-thirds of the screen is covered and leaves one section still visible, or if it will also fold in half too. A bendable screen will not only have a single point where they can bend, but hardware limitations elsewhere may make a phone with two folding points technically very difficult at the moment. A double-folding phone may be possible in the future though.

How close to reality is one of these incredible sounding phones? Samsung Display will apparently start its first test production run of folding OLED display panels over the summer, and once any issues have been solved, a second larger run will take place in September. Provided the operation goes smoothly, Samsung wants capacity to reach 100,000 screens by the end of the year. In 2019, when full-scale production is expected, Samsung will produce a million folding screens.

Samsung Display is the leading supplier of OLED screens in the world, and its screens don’t only find their way onto Samsung devices. Samsung isn’t the only smartphone manufacturer talking about folding, or bendable, devices for 2019 and later either. Huawei has been rumored to show a folding phone in late 2018, although it’s not certain the phone will be ready for sale then, and Motorola has also filed patents related to a folding phone. News that Samsung is striding ahead with folding screen production will likely push other manufacturers to examine the concept, and we expect to hear more from others over the coming year.

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