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Foldable phones

Samsung’s folding handset, the Infinity Flex Display, is being described by the company as "the foundation of the smartphone of tomorrow.”

With production due to start shortly the device, when unfolded, resembles a 7.3in (18.5cm) tablet. When its closed, a "cover display" on the handset becomes available.

The prototype that went on show, certainly had thinner displays but there were noticeable breaks in the bezel – hopefully that will be dealt with when the device goes into production!

Samsung has been developing the concept of the folding phone for some time – 5 years in fact – and has been competing with Huawei, so it will have been disappointed to have been upstaged by the Chinese start-up – Royole – which has already unveiled a foldable phone of its own.

The launch comes at a difficult time for Samsung, with it underperforming in the smartphone space – while the sector is itself shrinking Samsung has seen sales fall by over 13 per cent.

Could a foldable phone boost the brand and create interest in the rest of Samsung’s portfolio?

If it can deliver a smart, interesting device that provides real differentiation in what is a very crowded market, then Samsung will see this as a job well done and hope that it reverses the steep declines in profit its mobile division has been suffering.

It’s certainly going to be helped by the fact that Google has announced that it will be adding support to the operating system to allow other manufactures to create foldable phones of their own.

One thing we can be sure of, this is likely to be the first of many more foldable products.

Author
Neil Tyler

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