With the Galaxy S8 just weeks away from hitting the stores, Samsung can now to some extent turn its attention to the Galaxy Note 8. And with the Galaxy S8 having benefited from a complete redesign of its display, there is already speculation mounting that the Korean corporation could consider creating a foldable Galaxy Note 8 screen.

Galaxy X Galaxy Note 8 Patent
Image Credit: Samsung Electronics / Korea Intellectual Property Office (screenshot)

Galaxy Note 8: trade show demo

This technology would be nothing new for Samsung in a sense, as the manufacturer has been showing off foldable mobile technology for several years at trade shows. Prototypes have been available for Samsung for many years, but it now seems that it may be viable for the consumer electronics giant to include foldable technology in the Galaxy Note 8.

And there has been rather a lot of evidence suggesting that Samsung is toying with the idea of foldable technology for the Note 8. Firstly, a Chinese later, known as @mmddj_china on Twitter, has posted a couple of tweets picked up by the media in the last day or so. These two social media posts floated the idea that the Galaxy Note 8 will release in Q4, with the Galaxy X preceding this in Q3.

Galaxy X link

It is the Galaxy X that has been particularly linked with foldable technology previously. If the tweet is correct then this suggests that Samsung would not produce a foldable Galaxy Note 8, as this might render the Galaxy X rather obsolete, or at least diminish the impact of one of its most obvious selling points.

However, the Galaxy X could merely be the testing ground for Samsung’s foldable tech, and the corporation could still implement such technology in the Galaxy Note 8 after the Galaxy X has dipped its toes into the water. Foldable technology could then become a staple part of the Samsung mobile range.

On an unrelated topic, it is also an interesting suggestion that Samsung would be willing to move into Q4 with the Galaxy Note range. This would still enable Samsung to avoid the release of the iPhone to some extent, with the Apple handset likely to land in September once more. The obvious difference being that the iPhone 8 would already be available when the Galaxy Note 8 launched, and it is hard to believe that this would be beneficial for Samsung’s sales figures. Having said that, both of the main Galaxy series have held up well against the iPhone over the last few years, and sold particularly well in East Asia.

Path to foldable tech

Elsewhere, reports have been accumulating which suggest that 2017 could be the year for Samsung to include foldable technology in at least one mobile release. Samsung has been diligently working on this technology for at least six years, with the company originally debuting foldable screens in 2011. And the company had probably been working on foldable displays behind the scenes for some years prior to this date.

It was even believed at one time the Samsung would release a mass-market bendable phone by 2013. Obviously this never came to fruition, with the Korean corporation experiencing serious market challenges. It is also notable that Samsung had something of a lull in 2015, before storming back in 2016 and the months leading up to the Galaxy S7 fiasco.

There have been numerous false starts for foldable technology from Samsung since then, with various devices that never actually emerged being linked with the technology. Project Valley was one notable name from the past, but this has now morphed into the Galaxy X, believed to be the name under which the prototype will eventually be released.

Galaxy X

Yet actual concrete information on this smartphone has been rather conspicuous by its absence. It is extremely common for information on the Samsung range to be leaked from sources in East Asia, yet there have been few solid suggestions that the Galaxy range is ready for a foldable release in 2017.

Nonetheless, reports suggest that progress has been made with foldable technology, with several key problems in development having apparently been solved. The durability of this technology is now apparently undoubted, according to sources close to Samsung, while the affordability and ideal sizing of internal components is now such that a mass-market release can be considered.

LG patent

Another thing for Samsung to consider is the fact that LG has recently patented foldable display technology. This could help Samsung’s rival beat its native counterpart to the punch and release a foldable device ahead of the Galaxy Note 8.

Samsung has arguably being the major pioneer in the mobile marketplace over the last few years, and has certainly innovated more with display technology than any other company, pushing curved screens to the forefront of the smartphone niche. So the mega-corporation would be less than happy about LG stealing its thunder, particularly as Samsung has been working on foldable technology for so long.

This could force Samsung to show its hand and release a foldable mobile in 2017. However, the odds are that this will not be the Galaxy Note 8. Samsung simply has too much on its plate in ensuring that the Galaxy Note 8 is stable and durable, while reinvigorating the image of the brand after the Galaxy Note 7 explosion disaster. Solidifying the Galaxy Note range with a similar design brief to the Galaxy S8 would seem to make sense.

But don’t bet against the Galaxy X appearing with a foldable display sometime around August.