Samsung will manufacture a prototype of a foldable smartphone in Q3 2017, industry sources told ETNews. Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display are allegedly close to finalizing their designs and will soon be ready to deliver a functional prototype of a smartphone with a foldable display, but it's possible that the Seoul-based tech giant won't be the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to uncover such a device. Recent reports suggest that numerous Chinese display panel makers are also currently committing more resources to their efforts of developing a prototype of a foldable smartphone panel.
Industry sources claim that Samsung's current deadline for manufacturing a foldable smartphone is Q3 2017 as the South Korean tech giant is apparently adamant to see whether such a device is commercially viable in the near future. Samsung is reportedly looking to manufacture thousands of prototypes of foldable handsets by the end of the third quarter of the year and is looking to conduct more internal tests to find out whether the average consumer is even interested in owning such a device. Due to that state of affairs, it's unlikely that Samsung will start mass-producing foldable phones before 2018, sources close to the company said.
The report states that the Seoul-based phone maker even showcased a prototype of a foldable handset during this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. The prototype was allegedly shown to a limited number of partners that have assisted Samsung in its development but no further details on the matter have been revealed. The company is reportedly aiming to design its first foldable smartphone as an extremely luxurious device that consumers will perceive as being even more premium than the Galaxy S lineup. If Samsung manages to accomplish that goal, an "ultra premium" design could certainly help popularize the foldable smartphone concept. The Seoul-based company allegedly wanted to produce thousands of prototypes by the end of the first quarter of the year but decided to postpone its ambitions in order to secure enough time and resources to improve the overall quality of its experimental product. An update on the situation is expected to follow by summer.