Mobile boss touts foldable device that can be used as a tablet before being folded into portable phone
The head of Samsung’s mobile division has offered up the clearest description yet of what its upcoming foldable device will look like.
Samsung’s mobile head, DJ Koh said that when the device is unfolded, it will act as a tablet – complete with multi-tasking and a big screen. However, it can then be folded down into a more portable smartphone.
It comes after Samsung Displays achieved an important milestone in July when its recently developed unbreakable, bendable screen passed safety testing in the United States.
He reportedly said that users will be able to use the device as a tablet with multitasking capability, before being able to fold it up into a more portable phone.
“When we deliver a foldable phone, it has to be really meaningful to our customer,” Koh told CNET in an interview at the sidelines of the Samsung Galaxy A9 launch. “If the user experience is not up to my standard, I don’t want to deliver those kind of products.”
However the executive said it would have to reach his standards before it could be announced, and that the foldable phone wouldn’t be a “gimmick product” that will “disappear after six to nine months after it’s delivered.”
“Possibly when we start selling the foldable phone, it may be a niche market, but definitely, it will expand,” Koh reportedly said. “I’m positive that we do need a foldable phone.”
That Samsung device was able to be folded in two to be carried around, with screens on both sides.
LG has previously revealed a concept “Active Bending” device featuring an edge-to-edge curved display, and has previously released the G Flex 2 smartphone, which sported a curved build designed to fit into a user’s hand.
Even Nokia back in 2011 unveiled a bendable concept phone, dubbed the Kinetic, which could be controlled by physical actions, such as squeezing the handset.
That Kinetic prototype was not a touch screen but, instead, allowed the user to drive the controls by bending and twisting actions.
Motorola in June filed a patent that seemed to solve one of the biggest problems with upcoming foldable phones, by overcoming a problem caused when a screen is repeatedly folded in half, which is highly likely to leave a visible crease in the screen.
Microsoft meanwhile at Christmas filed a patent for a mobile device that boasted a dual-display and 360-degree rotation support.