Samsung had shown off its foldable smartphone during its developer's conference towards the end of last year, though the phone was hidden by a rather hefty case. Well, the CES 2019 in Las Vegas is currently ongoing, and even though the company did not fully reveal the device, it seems like it has shown it off to clients behind closed doors. The Investor and The Korea Herald say that Samsung did that on January 8, during a meeting with partners, and some additional info surfaced as part of that, of course. A "high-level executive" from one of the company's clients claims that Samsung is currently in the process of "polishing the optimization process" for both this phone's hardware and software, which leads us to believe that the phone is almost ready to go, but the company wants it to be polished enough for the consumer market. That very same executive says that the phone will not show any crease which would indicate that it had been bent (even though the prototype unit did, but that will be fixed in the final version), which are great news, and we're hoping that it will stay that way even after the phone gets bent a ton of times, as part of regular everyday use, so hopefully Samsung tested it out properly. There is one issue, as per the executive who shared the info… it seems like folding the device all the way leads to breakage, which is why Samsung is doing some tests which would ensure that the sides remain slightly lifted when the phone is folded. A second executive that talked to the Korean media compared the encounter with Samsung's foldable phone with the first time he spotted Nokia's folder phone. He also added that Samsung's foldable smartphone is "specialized for multitasking", and that it "would be highly useful for people who own both a smartphone and tablet".
Release Timeframe & Marketing Strategy
According to reports, the company's foldable smartphone, which could end up being called "Galaxy Fold", will become official in the first half of 2019. Samsung is allegedly planning to produce only 1 million units of this device, which is a tiny margin compared to the 10-million planned units for the Galaxy S10 series, but it's understandable, as this is a brand new category of smartphones, not to mention that the device will probably be quite expensive, as it's rumored to cost around $1,500-$2,000. Industry sources are claiming that Samsung will probably target men in their 40s as prime customers for the upcoming foldable smartphone. As a reason behind this strategy, sources are suggesting that men in their 40s are quite familiar with "folder phones" which were popular in 1990s, while they also prefer phones with larger displays, so Samsung sees that as a win-win situation. On top of that, such men usually need phones that can multitask properly, and the upcoming foldable smartphone is expected to be quite compelling for both work and entertainment.
Believe it or not, Samsung is not the first company that will show off its foldable smartphone, as Royole already unveiled its FlexPai handset last year. The company brought that phone to CES 2019, and is showing it off to interested parties. Royole is not the only competitor to Samsung in this regard, not by a long shot, as a number of other companies are planning to release their foldable smartphones in 2019. Huawei and LG are both working hard on delivering a foldable smartphone in order to compete with Samsung, and both companies are expected to show off their offerings in the first half of this year as well, so one of them may even release a phone sooner than Samsung, it remains to be seen. While Royole is not exactly a direct competitor to Samsung due to its status in the market, both Huawei and LG are directly competing with Samsung in this regard, so it will be interesting to see what will they deliver. OPPO and some other smartphone manufacturers are also planning to deliver a foldable smartphone in 2019, so expect this to be a year of foldable smartphones, display holes, and 5G (at least conversation about 5G, as that tech probably won't make it to carriers until the fourth quarter of the year).