Samsung is reportedly working on a smartphone which can fold inward. On Thursday citing industry sources, BusinessKorea reported that the smartphone might arrive next year.

Samsung Foldable phone Galaxy X
Image Credit: Samsung / Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) (screenshot)

Samsung has been reportedly working on the technology for about five years, but recently it diverted its focus to developing outward folding phones, sources say. Further, sources told BusinessKorea that since the technologies related to the outward folding phone are a little complicated, Samsung might have shifted its focus back to inward folding phones. The problems that forced Samsung to shift its focus back are not clear for now.

“Samsung has nearly developed technologies related to the in-folding type phone. It means a lot for it to return to the type,” an industry source told BusinessKorea.

The South Korean giant might be looking to keep a curvature radius of 3 mm for the Samsung foldable phone.

News of the Samsung inward folding phone follows a revelation from Samsung Mobile CEO Koh Dong-Jin, who recently hinted that the first Samsung foldable phone could be the Galaxy Note 9. It is possible that Samsung’s inward folding phone will be named the Galaxy X. The Galaxy X has reportedly already got Bluetooth certification and radio certification, two important prerequisites before phones go on sale.

Samsung also reportedly ordered various components during the first half of the year to produce between 2,000 and 3,000 foldable Galaxy X phones. Other than this, there is no information or official report on the specifications of the Samsung foldable phone, but rumors suggest that the handset will sport a 5.7-inch 1080p OLED display

Some would ask why Samsung would take such a risk in one of its most important categories globally. The reward is huge, and if Samsung releases a foldable Galaxy X, it could create more buzz than the iPhone X.

There are several challenges when it comes to building and releasing foldable phones. There have been reports that Samsung has been struggling with several issues pertaining to foldable smartphones, like durability and consistency, and as of now, it is not known, if the firm has addressed those issues or is close to resolving them. Samsung’s Koh also did not detail the challenges the company is facing in developing a Samsung foldable phone.

“As the head of the business, I can say our current goal is next year,” he said On Sept. 12. “When we can overcome some problems for sure, we will launch the product.”

Samsung first talked about foldable phones in 2011. However, the device did not look mainstream even though it survived 100,000 folds with only a 6% drop in brightness along the line of folding, notes Christian Today.

Other than Samsung, LG and Lenovo are also reportedly working on foldable phones. LG is possibly producing a phone/tablet hybrid with a bendable screen and is said to be looking to release its foldable smartphone around the same time as Samsung. Meanwhile, last year, Lenovo showcased a folding device which was in the early stages and could be used as a wearable and a phone. Further, there are reports that ZTE has already developed such a device and will probably announce it next month.