On May 30 Patently Apple posted a report titled "Samsung Continues to Work on a Foldable Galaxy Smartphone." Yesterday we posted a report titled "Samsung Surprised US Trade Show Attendees with Scrollable Smartphone Prototype," and on June 01 we posted another report titled "Will Samsung ever have the Courage to deliver on their Foldable Smartphone Dream?" According to a new Bloomberg report posted today, Samsung may have just answered that question with news that they're considering to deliver a smartphone with a bendable and/or foldable display as early as Q1 2017. The report notes that one of the designs may fold like a cosmetic compact.
One of Samsung's OLED based foldable displays could be unveiled as early as 2017, according to Bloomberg sources.
The sources added that "The second Samsung model will have a 5-inch screen when used as a handset that unfurls into a display that's as large as 8 inches, similar to a tablet."
Lee Seung Woo, an analyst at IBK Securities Co. in Seoul went on record stating that "This product could be a game-changer if Samsung successfully comes up with a user interface suitable for bendable screens. Their biggest obstacle was related to making transparent plastics and making them durable, which seems resolved by now."
The Bloomberg's sources further noted that Samsung's 'Project Valley' smartphone project could in some form come to market as soon as February, when Mobile World Congress takes place in Barcelona. That timing would give Samsung a head-start on Apple's iPhone using OLED screens that may be released later in 2017.
Of course Samsung has been filing patents for years on bendable, foldable and scrollable smartphones. You could check out our extensive Patently Mobile "Samsung Flex & Multiple Display Devices" archive to give you an idea as to the range of devices that could one day come to market. Some of the designs are laughable while others hold a lot of potential down the road.
Yet for now, it's only a Bloomberg rumor. Will Samsung finally have the courage to deliver on one of their advanced designs? We noted in last week's report that Samsung showed off a dual display smartphone back at CES in 2009 which has never come to market. So it's unclear at the moment as to whether Samsung will simply be presenting yet another fancy prototype at the 2017 Barcelona trade show or an actual working design ready for market.
With the rumor circulating that Apple has a dramatic new 2017 anniversary iPhone on the way, this noise about a Samsung foldable smartphone may just be propaganda in an attempt to steal Apple's thunder. Then again, only time will tell.