Samsung has been the frontrunner in the foldable smartphone race from the very beginning and the company seemingly is in no mood to slow down. According to a Nikkei Asia report, the Korean firm could be preparing to launch a double-folding smartphone as early as this year.
Citing three sources, the publication claims that the device is already in development and Samsung may announce it by the end of this year. If you recall, the company already has numerous patents covering a double-folding smartphone design. It even has design patents for triple-folding devices.
Details about this phone are pretty much non-existent as of now. Samsung apparently wants to design a handset that is more app-friendly. In other words, it wants the phone to have a screen aspect ratio in line with the current mainstream ratio of 16:9 or 18:9. This would allow existing mobile apps and games to run more smoothly on the device.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2, for instance, has a screen ratio of 25:9 when unfolded. This means app developers need to redesign their products specifically to fit the unique aspect ratio and run properly. Samsung wants to address this issue with its upcoming double-folding smartphone.
Samsung doubles down on foldable efforts
Foldable smartphones may not yet be considered conventional devices but this “unconventional” form factor is certainly the future of smartphones. Samsung has been betting heavily in this segment and it is now doubling down the efforts.
The company is already due to launch the next-gen Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold later this year. Now the report of a third foldable coming this year suggests that the Korean company has big ambitions with these phones.
In fact, the report claims that Samsung plans to sharply increase the production of foldable smartphones this year. It wants the total shipments of foldable devices to reach the levels of the Galaxy Note series. To put that into perspective, Note devices sell more than 10 million units per year. On the other hand, just about 3.5 million foldable Galaxy devices were shipped globally last year. So that’s one ambitious goal from Samsung.
It’s pretty much clear that Samsung wants its foldable devices to replace the Galaxy Note line. Having introduced S Pen support to the Galaxy S lineup this year, the company is slowly but surely killing off the phablets. There’s now hardly any significant difference between the two flagship series.
Samsung has already confirmed that we will not see a new Galaxy Note device in 2021. The phablets lineup may make a return next year but the foldable phones will eventually replace it. After all, foldable devices carry bigger profit margins. Not to mention, these devices also offer a clear distinction between the two flagship lineups.
The company, however, is aware that the current market conditions, as well as the chip and component crunch, may affect its internal goals. But it is very much focused on making foldable smartphones mainstream devices. It will now be interesting to see if Samsung manages to give life to its double-folding smartphone project by the end of this year.