Samsung to Produce Prototypes of Foldable Smartphones in 3Q2017

South Korean and Chinese manufacturers are competing to be the first company in the world to produce a foldable smartphone. Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display are working to produce a number of foldable smartphone prototypes in the third quarter of 2017 and aim to have mass-production available in 2018. Samsung Electronics showed its first foldable smartphone prototype to a select few customers at MWC 2017, it has been reported.

Samsung’s original goal was to produce prototypes in the first quarter of 2017, but it has pushed back in order to invested more time into raising the quality of the product.

Chinese companies are also pursuing the same goals with BOE, Visionox, and AUO introducing prototypes of foldable panels, and working with Chinese smartphone manufacturers, such as Lenovo, Oppo and Vivo to produce the foldable smartphone. Each of the panel manufacturers is planning to supply prototypes from their flexible OLED mass-production lines.


Samsung is probably in something of a dilemma here. It seems that the company doesn’t really believe that the foldable concept is ready for prime time, yet, probably because of concerns about the robustness and protection from damage of the units, especially after the Note 7. However, it will not want to be seen to be lagging behind if Chinese suppliers decide that they will try to launch the category. (BR)