A few concept renders surfaced on the Internet showing how one of Samsung's new foldable smartphones might look. The renders depict a tri-fold design whereas the smartphone is opened up twice, exposing a 7-inch tablet that could even be used with a keyboard as a makeshift computer. While the final product may not look like these renderings, the images below give us a pretty good idea of what we can expect from the phone industry in the future. Samsung recently demonstrated a foldable smartphone that opens and closes like a book with just two halves. This Galaxy X may be available for purchase as soon as late 2017 or early 2018. This concept could be the first real innovation of the smartphone in some years.
Premium smartphone sales numbers are not growing like they did in recent years and many industry watchers believe that the market is now somewhat saturated with the same old designs and is lacking innovation. Samsung brought us the dual-curved display in 2015 with the Galaxy S6 Edge, though the curved edges of that device were mostly a design change. The company also experimented with the Galaxy Note 4 Edge that boasted a single curved side but dropped that concept after a year. There are rumors that Samsung may use their new foldable device as a replacement for their popular Galaxy Note series as a foldable phone with an S-Pen could become a real game-changer.
Samsung is not the only manufacturer working on foldable smartphones. LG, OPPO, and Lenovo are also in the process of designing a foldable smartphone. LG has filed for patents on a few designs and back in May, OPPO showcased its own foldable smartphone design. The idea of a foldable smartphone is both exciting to the consumer and a daunting task for the manufacturer that must design its way out of many possible problems, like finding a way to support frequent opening and closing of a display without degrading its image quality. The technical challenges are many, and the cost of such a device may put it out of reach of the average user. Regardless, foldable displays give consumers something to look forward to in this age of somewhat stagnant smartphone innovation.