Although earlier rumors had suggested Samsung might launch its much-rumored 'Galaxy X' foldable smartphone later this year, latest reports coming out of South Korea now seem to suggest that the commercial launch of the device won't happen until 2018. That's according to a new report from Business Korea, which quotes 'industry sources' who apparently claim that the device will actually be released during the first half of 2018 instead of the timeline rumored earlier by sections of the online tech media. According to the publication, an 'industry official' reportedly expressed hope that a Galaxy X prototype may be put up for display by Samsung by the end of this year, but large scale manufacturing for commercial purposes will only begin next year, once polyimide film, a key component of foldable smartphones, goes into mass production.
The key supplier of polyimide films will be the South Korea-based Kolon Industries, which has reportedly bagged deals from both Samsung and LG to manufacture the material for their foldable handsets. Both companies are expected to launch their own foldable smartphones at some stage in the near future, although, neither has given an official ETA until now. Apple is also believed to be experimenting with its own foldable smartphone and, if reports are to be believed, has already applied for some patents from the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). While not a lot is known about when the Cupertino, California-based company is looking to bring its own foldable handset to the market, Samsung is expected to pip it to the post, whether the launch happens this year or in 2018.
Samsung has been working on a foldable smartphone for several years now, having shown off an early prototype as far back as in 2013. Since then, several rumors have suggested that the company has been working feverishly on the project that was initially understood to have the code-name 'Project Valley' internally within Samsung. Either way, it remains to be seen when the much-rumored foldable smartphone will finally be unveiled by the South Korean tech giant, but the company certainly has its hands full for the time being, what with its next-generation flagship, the Galaxy S8, expected to be launched in the coming weeks.