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Samsung will Reportedly Field Test Foldout Smartphones this fall



In January Patently Apple posted a report titled "Hyper Android Community Jumps the Gun with Samsung Trademark 'Galaxy X' Representing a Folding Smartphone." The rumor mill in South Korea was convinced that an initial run for folded smartphones in 2017 would hit 100,000 units. Yet since that time Samsung continues to downplay the timing of such a device to market. We posted another report last week titled "Samsung Display Reveals at Trade Event that Foldable Smartphones will be delayed until 2019 at Minimum." So any dream of a foldable smartphone for 2017 is all but dead.


During this year's Mobile World Congress event Samsung held a private meeting with their customers to show off their foldable smartphone prototypes and gauge feedback to help them understand the demand that they could expect for such displays.


Today a South Korean tech site is reporting that their sources are revealing that Samsung will produce between 2,000-3,000 field test units in the second half of this year.


The report further noted that Samsung's first foldable smartphone will be a single flexible OLED screen that can be folded outward. Patently Mobile posted a design patent report covering one of Samsung's foldout designs back in January of this year.


"Samsung seems to be testing the waters with the dual-screen device to gather ideas about its upcoming foldable phone," an industry source said on condition of anonymity.


In a secondary report today it was noted that "LG Display, a leading OLED panel manufacturer, is currently working on development of fordable display panels. The company introduced what it calls a "rollable" OLED panel, referring to a panel that can be rolled up as toilet paper, at the Consumer Electronics Show in January."


Patently Apple posted a report just yesterday titled "Google in Negotiations with LG on new OLED Plant and Joint R&D Project Regarding Foldable Smartphones" In light of the news today it appears that LG's work has been focused on rollable smartphones. While we don't have LG patents on this category, we do have a number of patent reports on this type of design from Samsung here: One, two, three and four.


We noted in a report in December that Kolon Group, a leading foldable displays technology company, stated that their crucial folding technology wouldn't be ready until next year at the earliest. For first generation foldable smartphones, this type of technology is crucial.


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