Samsung's first foldable Android smartphone will launch in early 2019 and feature a 7-inch screen, as well as a wallet-like design, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing insiders close to the South Korean technology giant. The development adds more credence to recent rumors that Samsung is planning on launching its foldable device at Consumer Electronics Show in January, though the latest report doesn't specifically mention the Las Vegas, Nevada-based annual happening.
When fully folded, the external sides of the handset feature a "small display bar" and multiple cameras, as per the same source. Insiders believe the device will likely be priced above $1,500, with the same claim already being made by other industry sources earlier this year, with the main implication of that figure being that Samsung will present the handset as a niche offering that won't be produced in significant volumes. The Seoul-based original equipment manufacturer is said to have code-named the latest foldable phone prototype "Winner" and is expected to target it at gamers and other interest groups in select markets before possibly moving to debut more similar devices in the second half of 2019, depending on the initial market response to its upcoming gadget. The smartphone reportedly has thin bezels and Samsung isn't attaching large commercial expectations to it, though the firm remains highly convinced of the feasibility of the concept itself, the same sources claim.
Samsung previously confirmed it's working on bendable handsets but has yet to share many details on those efforts in any official capacity. The company is also said to be almost ready to launch its first Bixby-enabled smart speaker code-named "Lux" which is expected to be introduced shortly following the unveiling of the Galaxy Note 9 scheduled for August 9. The AI-infused speaker will reportedly be priced at approximately $300 and shaped like a bowl, though it's likely to first be released in Samsung's home country before making its way to other markets.