Samsung’s first foldable smartphone may be equipped with an in-display fingerprint reader, one known industry insider from China said earlier today. In a post shared through social media platform Weibo that has been deleted circa Friday morning PST for unknown reasons, the source also indicated the device will be launching in the Far Eastern country with a price tag north of 10,000 yuan, i.e. $1,460, according to a machine translation of their writing. The claim is in line with previous rumors on the matter, particularly a June report that indicated the handset’s price tag will be in the ballpark of $1,850.
Samsung is also understood to be targeting no more than 120,000 units for the initial production batch of the still-nameless smartphone, an insignificant amount compared to the millions of Galaxy S and Galaxy Note-series devices it manufactures every year. The company is expected to target the bendable handset as a niche product for tech enthusiasts, with gamers being one specific demographic that it might attempt catering to, not unlike how it marketed the recently released Galaxy Note 9. The suggestion that the foldable phone will have an in-display fingerprint scanner is new but coincides with Samsung’s R&D efforts, with numerous insiders recently claiming the company is not only ready to commercialize such a technology but will circumvent optical readers the likes of Vivo and Huawei used this year in favor of a second-generation solution – ultrasonic sensors.
Compared to optical readers, ultrasonic modules work through thicker, more robust screens and have no issues with authenticating sweaty or wet fingertips. Another industry insider yesterday claimed Samsung’s first device with an in-display fingerprint scanner will launch in China, advertised as the Galaxy P1. The handset isn’t believed to be directly related to the upcoming foldable phone and may even be a mid-range product with a regular optical sensor. The Galaxy F, Galaxy X, or however the bendable handset will be called is expected to feature a wallet-like design centered around a single 7.3-inch OLED screen that can almost be folded in half, i.e. offer a curvature ratio of 1.5R. DJ Koh, the CEO of Samsung‘s mobile unit, recently confirmed the seminal product will be unveiled this year, though it’s still unlikely to become available for purchase prior to early 2019 and Huawei may beat it to the market with a foldable Android smartphone of its own, as several industry sources suggested earlier this summer.