When you think of innovation in the smartphone space, Samsung is almost always one of the names that come to mind, and there are plenty of good reasons for that. Those reasons include things like foldable, flexible displays, feature-packed flagships like the Galaxy Note 7, and things outside the smartphone space like their nearly flawless track record of being the first to manufacture chipsets on a new, thinner process each year. Samsung’s innovations thus far are nothing Earth-shattering, but definitely warrant a second glance. Recent rumors, however, point to all of that changing in 2017 when Samsung starts leveraging their in-house technology to drop some real game changers on the smartphone market.
Most of this innovation will center on their innovations in the field of AMOLED displays, with a focus on flexible and foldable displays. One example is the rumored Galaxy X family. Supposedly, these newcomers will be among the first in a brand new Samsung Galaxy lineup, will launch at the Mobile World Congress in February of 2017, and will all carry a foldable, flexible AMOLED screen, along with a frame that allows it to take full advantage of that screen in various forms. One of these rumored phones, for example, would start out as a standard-sized device and fold up into something more compact, not unlike a flip phone. Rollable OLEDs are also in Samsung’s wheelhouse, which could mean a roll-up phone, or even one that wraps a user’s wrist snugly to become a smartwatch.
Past Samsung patents and other rumors, however, point to a range of things, from phones that unfold into tablets, and even smartwatches. While the phone-tablet hybrid has been tried before, it has failed for one reason or another, such as the Kyocera Echo’s slow user interface and dismal battery life. The demand for such a thing is made abundantly clear by the current demand for phablet devices, and this model would have modern flagship specs and Samsung’s technology behind it, so things may turn out markedly different. Whatever Samsung may have waiting in the wings, if it’s anything like what rumors and patents have been pointing to, it will bring serious change to the smartphone market, should it catch on.