There is always much talk on what the future of mobile devices will be like and more aptly, what future mobiles will look like. While some have gone down the modular road, others have looked to alternative ways to differentiate their offerings within their market. One particular route that a number of companies (including Samsung, LG and Lenovo) seem to be keen on is foldable displays. All three companies have been reported to be working on them and even as recently as this week, new patent filings emerged for Samsung and their ‘flexible displays’.
That said, if a new report out of The Korea Herald is correct, then it would seem as though Samsung is slightly hesitant about the future of foldable displays. The information picked up by the report, cites “sources familiar with the matter’ and clearly highlights that Samsung is watching the market carefully to see if there is actually any demand for devices with foldable displays before making a move. In fact, the unnamed sources go on to state that Samsung is already well on their way to being able to flick the switch and start the mass production process. According to the same sources, they are expected to be fully ready to deploy foldable displays in large quantities by “late next year”.
However, the same sources also note that due to the cost of the devices, Samsung is currently unsure of whether there is demand (or presumably, enough of it) to warrant the rolling out of foldable display devices. Interestingly, the report also notes that if Samsung does see enough demand for the technology then it will actually be foldable tablets that are rolled out first and ones with “panels facing outward” - as they are apparently less of an issue than 'inward facing panels'.
Of course, in some respects it does make sense that Samsung would be taking a more cautious approach going forward. Following the Galaxy Note 7 launch, issue and recall, Samsung is unlikely to be willing (at the moment) to bet big on any major deviation away from tried and tested products. While they are one of the few companies that are big enough to sustain the Galaxy Note 7 recall, they will likely to do all they can to ensure that not only are their upcoming products safe, but are also cost-effective.