The foldable smartphone is expected to be the next big innovation in the mobile industry Image: Thinkstock
The race is on for the next big innovation in the smartphone world. According to reports, major manufacturers such as Samsung, Apple, LG and others have been working hard on foldable smartphones. One company which seems closest to transitioning the concept or prototypes into a mass-market device is Samsung. The company has been tipped to launch its foldable device, rumoured to be dubbed the Samsung Galaxy X, as early as 2019. But if recent reports are to believed, it won't come cheap.
Samsung is expected to launch the Galaxy X during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019, which is likely to be held in February-March in Barcelona. South Korean news outlet Korea Times recently cited market analysts and industry experts and claimed the device may be priced around 2 million Korean won (Rs 1,25,000) for contract-free models. This means the device may come with subsidies from carriers bundling the handset with subscriptions.
If the prediction turns out to be true, it will surpass the Apple iPhone X as the most expensive mass-produced smartphone in the market. Speaking of Apple, the Cupertino-based tech giant is also working on its own foldable iPhone design, but it isn't expected to launch until 2020.
According to the Korea Times report, Samsung's device will have a 7.3-inch display panel which will show a 4.5-inch display when folded. An analyst also speculates that the device will have two display panels mounted inside the fold while a third will be placed facing outwards (possibly for notifications, etc when the device is folded). According to the experts, the first model will only fold inwards but an outward folding model may follow soon.
Samsung Electronics spokesperson Kim Choon-gon had earlier said that the company was on track to develop a device featuring a 'true foldable display'. Samsung Mobile CEO DJ Koh, in an interview last year, said that the new hardware isn't just a gimmick.