In short: Samsung’s first foldable Android smartphone code-named “Winner” will be officially introduced at the company’s annual developer conference taking place in November, The Korea Herald reports, citing industry sources. The San Francisco event is taking place on the first Friday of the month, November 7, and is scheduled to run for 48 hours. The Galaxy Home smart speaker is also widely expected to be detailed at the happening.
Background: The newly reported launch window coincides with a recent tease from DJ Koh, the Chief Executive Officer of Samsung’s mobile unit. Several days back, the industry veteran said Samsung will be debuting its seminal device before the end of the year, dismissing previous rumors about an early 2019 launch, though the handset still isn’t expected to become available for purchase before next year. Samsung has a history of announcing consumer-facing products at the annual event, despite the fact that the very nature of the gathering is more developer-oriented. Last year, the company used the Moscone Center-based event as the launch vehicle for Bixby 2.0, 360 Round camera, a broad range of virtual reality applications, and SmartThings, a rebranded, unified version of several services. Earlier today, industry insiders claimed Samsung developed a new type of adhesive solely for the purpose of assembling foldable Android smartphones.
The impact: Whoever wins the foldable smartphone race is likely to win invaluable media coverage from all over the world free of charge, further building into its image of a technology pioneer. Samsung’s decision to push the unveiling of its innovative device to late 2018 may have been prompted by the fact that Huawei reportedly did the same, with the South Korean company likely dreading the idea of being beat by its Chinese rival on two innovation fronts in less than a year after Huawei already debuted the world’s first mainstream smartphone with a triple-camera setup this spring. Bendable handsets themselves aren’t likely to become a mainstream category for several more years as the entry point into the emerging product category will take a while to drop; Samsung’s Galaxy F or however the upcoming device ends up being called will reportedly cost over $1,500 and be marketed as a niche offering catering to tech enthusiasts and gamers.