For as long as I can remember, the rumor mill and Korean media have been referring to Samsung’s upcoming foldable phone as Galaxy X. Yes, Samsung is preparing to launch the foldable phone early next year, but it might not adopt the Galaxy X moniker. The company could launch it under an entirely new brand, according to a reliable Chinese tipster.
Why is Samsung not interested in the Galaxy X moniker?
A Chinese leaker who goes by Twitter handle @MMDDJ_ said in a tweet that Samsung’s foldable smartphone would not be called Galaxy X. The tipster said in another tweet that the company is working on a gaming smartphone. It’s possible that the gaming smartphone @MMDDJ_ is referring to could be the foldable phone. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Samsung will target gaming enthusiasts with its foldable handset.
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— 萌萌的电教 (@MMDDJ_) July 23, 2018
It’s entirely possible that the Galaxy X moniker was given to Samsung’s foldable handset by the media rather than Samsung itself. Or it could just be a placeholder name and the company will finalize its branding closer to the official unveiling early next year. The Korean company is developing the device under the code-name “Winner.”
One of the reasons Samsung isn’t interested in the Galaxy X moniker could be Apple’s iPhone X. The iPhone X will be more than a year old by the time Samsung’s foldable phone arrives. Apple is preparing to launch iPhone X2 (or whatever the second-gen iPhone X is called). Naming the foldable phone Galaxy X might give an impression that its technical specs are inferior to the iPhone X2. This is just a marketing strategy. Smartphone vendors including Samsung have skipped numbers (it skipped Galaxy Note 6 to launch Note 7) in the past to be on par with rivals in terms of branding.
@MMDDJ_ is not the first person to suggest that Samsung will avoid the Galaxy X moniker. We have heard similar rumors many times since last year. Will the company go with the Galaxy F (foldable)? Whatever name Samsung picks for its foldable device, it will remain part of the Galaxy family. Sources recently told the WSJ that the foldable device will create a third flagship category for Samsung besides the Galaxy S series and the Galaxy Note line.
The foldable phone will need a giant battery
Samsung’s mobile business chief DJ Koh has told fans that the foldable device will not be a gimmick. It will be a fully functioning handset with a great user experience. Samsung has spent years overcoming difficulties and improving the user experience.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the device will have a 7-inch all-screen OLED display that will fold in the middle like a wallet. Folding the phone will reveal a small external display on one side and rear cameras on the other. The outer display will give users instant access to time, notifications, missed calls, etc., eliminating the need to unfold the handset every time they want to check time or notifications.
Samsung will need to pack a huge battery inside the device to power the 7-inch main display and the outer screen all day. It could use the flexible battery developed by Samsung SDI that is capable of storing 3,000mAh to 6,000mAh power. Sources told the WSJ that overheating was still a major issue for the foldable phone that Samsung needed to resolve. The company also has to ensure that the phone is durable enough to withstand repeated folding and unfolding.
ValueWalk reported earlier this month that Samsung Display would start trial production of flexible OLED screens later this summer to identify and address manufacturing issues. Mass production will begin towards the end of this year. Samsung Display is expected to produce only about 100,000 foldable screens this year before ramping up production early next year.
It will be ridiculously expensive
Samsung’s foldable phone is going to cost upward of $1,500, sources told the WSJ. Golden Bridge Investment analyst Kim Jang-yeol predicts it will cost 2 million won (roughly $1,850) in South Korea, making it almost twice as expensive as the iPhone X. The high price could alienate most of the Samsung fans and mainstream buyers. Given the steep price tag and the use case, Samsung expects demand for the device to be limited. That’s why it plans to target niche audiences such as mobile gamers with the foldable device.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) July 4, 2018
Chinese tipster Ice Universe has reported earlier that Samsung would unveil the foldable phone at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January next year. Initially, Samsung will sell the phone only in its home country. Depending on the response in South Korea, the device could debut in other markets later in 2019. Chinese vendors such as Huawei and Lenovo-owned Motorola are also in the race to launch foldable smartphones by next year.