Samsung has been hyping its plans for a foldable smartphone since at least the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. Despite a few false starts, some changes made Monday to the company’s social media pages that an actual launch date may finally be imminent.
This all comes ahead of Samsung’s upcoming developer’s conference which will be held November 7 in San Francisco. In addition to updates to its artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality efforts, the company is also expected to be unveil a phablet you can fold and slide in your pocket like a notebook.
The latest hype is in response to the company’s recently updated Facebook and Twitter profiles which now depict a folded over Samsung logo. Not particularly subtle, as far as pre-launch hints go, though these kinds of predictions can often miss the mark.
That said there have been other hints Samsung’s foldable phone may soon see the light of day. DJ Koh, the CEO of Samsung’s mobile division recently alluded to the possibility in a recent interview with CNBC. In the interview he said that while making the foldable smartphone has proved “complicated,” that its production was “nearly concluded.”
Not to be confused with the flip phones of yesteryear, foldable handsets were envisioned to be all-screen devices with a bendable seam in the middle enabling them to close like a booklet. Or so that’s what Samsung teased in its 2013 CES concept trailer seen above. Half a decade later, it’s still a little unclear what we might soon see hitting shelves.
Earlier versions of Samsung’s foldable phone, like one that it teased since in have also been scooped by competitors, like the Royole Corporation. The Chinese company recently debuted its FlexPai foldable phone on October 31, but at a glance, it left a lot to be desired.
In footage posted on Twitter, the display was glitchy and it wasn’t anywhere near as sleek and pocket-friendly as the concept touted by Samsung. The device starts at 8,999 Chinese yuan (roughly $1,300). It’ll most likely not be available in the United States because of national security concerns over Chinese smartphone companies spying on consumers. While it beat Samsung to the punch, there’s still time to wow U.S. consumers.
The company has been elusive about this tech over the years but with other foldable phones hitting the market we may finally see what they have been cooking up all these years. Consumers will be looking for the company to impress by delivering something akin to what was seen in that fated 2014 commercial.