Samsung is without a doubt one of the cutting edge manufacturers in the smartphone industry. It was only inevitable that they come out with something that really innovates on design. Well, from what rumors we’re hearing for 2017, this will be the case in a literal way. The company is supposedly planning on the release of a 4K smartphone with a foldable display.
Sources familiar with the matter claim Samsung is considering introducing two new smartphone models with bendable OLED screens. The report is very light on details but presumably one of the phones will feature a folding clamshell design. That can be described as being like a cosmetic compact, and the other will have a 5-inch screen that unfurls into an 8-inch tablet.
The benefits of this fold are that it can create a more versatile device in the Galaxy X, with easy storage in bags and pockets when folded into a 5 inch device and easy work-related handling when expanded to 8 inches.
Samsung's effort has code-name "Project Valley". One or both of the
phones could be shown off at Mobile World Congress in February, one of
the sources said. In any case, the company is not expected to launch the
new phones under its flagship Galaxy S brand.
The Korean firm has a distinct advantage in the OLED space. It's the world's biggest supplier of OLED panels, and has already shipped products with curved OLED screens, namely the Galaxy S6 Edge and S7 Edge. It has yet to ship a product with a bendable screen, although the company has before teased the idea in concepts.
It will be interesting to know whether Samsung can create “a user
interface suitable for bendable screens”. There’s definitely a segment
of the market that will instantly buy whatever the new technology is and
climb on board as early adopters. With that said, if the bendable
screen is used purely as a gimmick and doesn’t actually introduce any
real tangle functionality that users can interact with and benefit from,
then it’s likely that it will be nothing more than a fad.
We’ll have to wait and see what Samsung dishes out.