Samsung has been showing off flexible screens for a long time (see the Windows Phone prototype above) but it seems this year, presumably under pressure from the iPhone 8), the dream may finally become reality.
The Korean Herald reports that Samsung is set to release its first foldable phone in Q3 2017. Called the Galaxy X and presumably a replacement for the blighted Galaxy Note brand, Samsung is only planning a limited run of 100,000 devices, suggesting a somewhat steep price.
The device is said to fold outwards, turning it into a 7-inch tablet. It would likely be similar to the Samsung concept from some years ago above, as the device would still need space for other electronics and an acute fold would likely damage the display.
According to reports LG will also follow-up with their own flexible phone, with another 100,000 units available in Q4 2017.
According to earlier reports from the Economic Times of Korea Microsoft is also in line to purchase flexible displays from LG, for deliverable in 2018. These were said to be used in Microsoft’s Surface line, leading us to fantasize about the return of a Courier-like Surface device.
It seems likely if Samsung does find success with its phone/tablet combo we may see a similar product eventually from Microsoft also, particularly due to its focus on convergent devices and the flexibility of universal apps, which are at home on both phone and tablet-sized screens.
See Samsung’s corny, but possible prescient concept video illustrating the idea below: