Rumours of a foldable smartphone or tablet have abounded over the last year or so with both Samsung and Microsoft rumoured to be creating new devices that can be doubled over making them small to carry but offering much larger displays.
Reports are coming in that Samsung’s new foldable device – codenamed Galaxy X – will be coming in early 2019. It will be larger than any smartphone before it – with an eye-watering price tag to match.
According to a report at the Wall Street Journal, the device will boast a 7-inch display when opened. This would make it similar in size to the Galaxy Tab A or iPad mini.
Although previous rumours have mentioned the presence of an external display so the device can be used when folded over, that seems to be off the table with a small display bar more likely. This will allow the device to carry out basic operations when closed, similar to a smart watch.
However, given we’re dealing with rumours and information that was probably leaked by someone with access to prototype devices we could see that change again before next year.
With a potential release date of “early next year” its’ a fair bet Samsung will be using their annual Mobile World Congress release event to unveil the new device. While the official name is expected to be Galaxy X, the internal project name at Samsung is “Winter”.
As well as making mobile productivity more convenient, the larger display could help Samsung push into niches such as mobile gaming according to the report. But they also note that it’s likely the Galaxy X will come with a price tag in excess of US$1500 – well over $2000 in our money. That’s enough to buy yourself a premium smartphone today with change for a Nintendo Switch.
We’ve been expecting Microsoft to bring out a foldable Surface product for a while but they’ve held back and rumours have cooled from that quarter. And while there’s little doubt Apple isn’t playing with the tech in some backroom at their Cupertino HQ, we’ve seen no sign they’re planning to release a similar device yet.
ZTE launched a dual-screen device to lacklustre reviews last year. Samsung (and the inevitable flock of imitators that will follow should the Galaxy X prove successful) will need to do a lot better if they expect us to fork out the kind of dollars we’ve seen rumoured.