Samsung remains fully committed to launching the world's first foldable smartphone, its mobile chief DJ Koh told South Korean journalists following last week's launch of the Galaxy Note 9. While recent reports suggested Huawei may beat Samsung to the punch and debut a bendable Android handset as early as this year, Mr. Koh hasn't referenced the tech giant's Chinese rival while making his latest remarks on the firm's near-term plans. Samsung is hence still aiming to release its first foldable smartphone in early 2019, with that timeframe suggesting the product in question may be unveiled at the next iteration of Las Vegas, Nevada-based Consumer Electronics Show.
The 2019 edition of Mobile World Congress is another possible launch venue for Samsung, though the Barcelona, Spain-based trade show has traditionally been used by the company for the introduction of its new Galaxy S-series devices and not niche solutions. Mr. Koh also gave a strong indication of Samsung's first foldable smartphone being the first of many such offerings, asserting that Samsung would never have committed significant resources to the R&D efforts necessary for making it happen if it only wanted to deliver a proof-of-concept device. While the handset was previously rumored to be launching with a "Galaxy X" moniker, its official name reportedly still hasn't been decided on. Still, with Galaxy being one of the world's most valuable brands, Samsung's first foldable device is likely to be introduced as part of the same product family.
Besides Samsung and Huawei, LG, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi are also said to be pursuing bendable handset concepts but it remains unclear when any of them may be ready to commercialize them. Samsung's upcoming device is understood to be a significantly more advanced take on the ZTE Axon M formula in the sense that it will still use a hinge on the back but should feature a single bendable OLED panel instead of two closely connected screens. The device is rumored to be priced in the ballpark of $1,500 and be advertised as a niche offering for mobile gamers and tech enthusiasts.