The rumor mill is heating up with the suggestion that Samsung is poised to introduce the world’s first foldable smartphone as early as next January.
What are they saying?
While Samsung has said little about the project code-named “Valley” the company’s release of its curved edged displays earlier in the year make it the most likely to introduce a foldable screen. Additionally, to fuel the rumors further, a Samsung Display exec was quoted earlier this year having said, “The industry believes that the commercialization of foldable smartphones will be possible in 2016.”
According to SamMobile, the Project Valley smartphone will be released with two separate hardware configurations. One of which will feature the Snapdragon 620 processor and the other is rumored to run the faster Snapdragon 820 processor. The same report suggests that the device will likely feature 3GB of RAM, a microSD card slot, and a non-removable battery which makes a tremendous amount of sense given the fact that the phone needs to be thin enough to fold in half.
Insiders offer insight?
“[The concept] plays to Samsung’s strengths in components and displays after all,” Bryan Ma, an industry analyst at IDC specialising in mobile and computing, told Michael De Waal-Montogery of VentureBeat. “One could argue that Samsung took the lead against Apple a few years ago on the back of phablets.”
“So similarly, being faster than the rest of the industry with this could help Samsung repeat some of that success. But that’s just an optimistic (and theoretical) scenario. It’s not clear how usable nor reliable that screen is yet. And as we all know, hardware alone doesn’t guarantee success,” he continued.
Past efforts by Samsung and others
Foldable, even roll-able, may be the future but as far back as CES 2013 Samsung showed us bendable for the first time with its Youm flexible OLED displays.
Additionally, Microsoft once pursued bendable touchscreens when it was looking to build the Courier tablet to compete with Apple’s iPad. That tablet was of course never released to the public but surely Microsoft still has its designs on bendable touchscreens given the potential demand in the future.
We’re not a big fan of speculation but if all the other tech blogs are “jumping off the bridge” we will be happy to follow them.