Samsung could launch two foldable phones in 2017

Samsung flexible phone

Remember that dream you once had of a phone that folds out into a tablet? Samsung is set to make that dream come true in 2017, according to sources – and there'll be a second device in tow as well.

It's only a matter of time before we get a bendable smartphone – and the first one will probably come from Samsung, given all the research and development the company has been doing in that area.

That's according to 'people familiar with the matter', who spoke to Bloomberg, claiming the phone will have a 5-inch screen when used as a handset, but fold out into an 8-inch tablet display.

A phone like that could be more than just a gimmick, giving people a true two-in-one device in a way that phablets have never quite been able to manage.

The other bendy phone sounds less exciting, as it apparently folds in half like a cosmetic compact and sounds a lot like a patent that was recently uncovered. There aren't any other details about it, so it's not clear whether, for example, the screen would still be usable when it's folded.

Overcoming obstacles

It seems that Samsung has managed to surmount the technological hurdles that stand in the way of making such a device, including making the screen robust, yet flexible enough to withstand daily rigors.

Of course all of this is just rumor for now, but apparently Samsung is aiming for a launch in early 2017, with one or both models possibly set to appear at MWC in late February.

This isn't the first we've heard of a foldable smartphone launch from Samsung in 2017. Just a month ago we reported that a flexible screen – dubbed the Samsung Galaxy X – might be launched next year, complete with a 4K display to keep the resolution high when the phone is bent.

There's still nothing very concrete to go on, but this would be the next logical step, following the Edge range, to help Samsung continue to stand out in an increasingly crowded market.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.