The wait is over! Samsung has finally unveiled its much-anticipated and rumored about the foldable phone and urged Android developers to start writing apps for the new device.
Foldable phones promise the screen of a small tablet in a pocket-sized device. The South Korean tech company needs to perfect the foldable phone to reverse steep declines in profit for its mobile division and restore some of the cachets its brand has lost to Apple.
At the unveiling in San Francisco, Justin Denison, a senior vice president of mobile product marketing, showed a prototype with a screen he said measured 18.5cm (7.3in) diagonally. Folded in two it appeared to resemble a thick phone, but Samsung did not give media or developers a chance to touch or see the device up close.
Dave Burke, vice president of engineering for Google’s Android software platform, told a conference in California that Samsung planned to introduce a new Android-based device early next year.
“We expect to see foldable products from several Android manufacturers,” he said.
Samsung is among a handful of developers working on foldable phones. Huawei has said it is planning to launch a 5G smartphone with a foldable screen in mid-2019.
Samsung and Huawei, however, have been beaten to the market by Royole, a Chinese display making start-up, which last week unveiled a foldable Android phone with a bigger screen, priced from around $1,300. Royole said it would start filling orders in late December.
“The success or failure of Samsung’s first folding phone will depend on how well Samsung has been able to button up the device.” CCS Insights analyst Ben Wood said. “If it’s a slick, attractively designed device it will be a magnet for gadget lovers. If it is bulky and hard to use it will be a tougher sell.”
Exciting times in the world of the mobile phone. Let us know what you think of this phone.