Samsung has now broken cover, according to one source out of the company's home country, with its plans to carry out a pilot production program for a folding smartphone. In fact, the prototype devices are said to already be underway, as of April 10, and the company has already ordered the components needed to begin production. An industry insider is also said to have revealed that the prototype will be comprised of a dual-screen setup instead of a single folding display. However, the prototype will almost certainly not resemble the now-defunct folding phones of the past. That's because it will reportedly sport two five-inch displays that are said to be almost bezel-free and could very well be Samsung's mysterious Galaxy X device.
In total, Samsung will reportedly produce between 2,000 and 3,000 of the devices through the middle of the year but doesn't plan to provide the devices to any regular consumers yet. That's likely because folding devices are a mostly new thing and it is not yet known how to really optimize them or their user interfaces for consumers. The purpose of this pilot, as with other pilots and similar programs, is to learn as much as possible to make a consumer-ready device a reality. Samsung is likely to learn a lot about how to produce the device itself efficiently, too. If everything with the initial pilot goes well, sources say that it is set to be continued through the second half of the year.
Despite that the current plan is for the two displays on Samsung's test device to function separately. For multi-tasking, it should be noted that more than a few companies have released patents for a completely different kind of folding device over the past several months. With any luck, this device could also provide insight that the industry can use in creating the first smartphones that have truly folding displays – sporting a single, flexible display instead of two displays on a hinge. It's also worth mentioning that none of this information has been confirmed by Samsung, so there is no guarantee that all of or any of the information is correct.