Sources: Samsung’s foldable device will be a blast from the past

By | 5th September 2018

Samsung gave us a strong hint of what its first foldable device could look like – five years ago.

According to industry sources cited by ETNews (via Phone Arena), Samsung’s first phone-tablet hybrid will look a lot like the Youm concept that Samsung teased during its CES 2013 keynote.

ETNews’ sources claim the foldable phone (or rather, foldable tablet) will feature two displays. Dubbed internally Project Winner, the device will feature a 7.3-inch OLED screen that folds inward, as well as a 4.6-inch OLED screen that will remain visible (and usable) when the device is folded.

If you’re having trouble visualizing it, Samsung’s keynote from CES 2013 has some helpful visual aids. We’ve embedded the money shot in a GIF below, but you can also watch the full teaser – in all its corny glory – at this link, starting around the 46-minute mark.

The 7.3-inch foldable display will reportedly have a 1.5R bending radius, meaning it will bend around a hypothetical cylinder of 1.5 millimeters in diameter, similar to a piece of paper or cardboard.

Samsung Display will reportedly manufacture between 100,000 and 120,000 foldable displays per month. However, the display maker is said to be stocking up parts for up to 180,000 units per month. The difference is due to the low yield of the manufacturing process, suggesting that foldable display technology is still far from maturity.

120,000 units per month is very little for Samsung, which sold 78.2 million smartphones in Q1 2018. It’s likely that Project Winner will be made available in limited quantities, at a price that will deter most regular consumers.

There’s still plenty we don’t know about Samsung’s first foldable device. What will the battery be like? How thick and heavy will it be? How will the device handle switching between screens? And how much will it cost? According to Samsung mobile boss DJ Koh, we should find out in November, at Samsung’s annual Developer Conference.

Thoughts on this rumor?