Samsung could take on Huawei with its own tri-foldable Galaxy phone this year

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 top angled half open
(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

A recent rumor suggests Samsung will soon launch the world’s first triple-fold smartphone, aiming to beat Chinese rival Huawei to the punch. 

To offer a bit of backstory, this past November notable industry insider Ross Young on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) claimed Huawei was working on a tri-foldable phone. It was supposed to launch in late 2023, but for whatever reason (presumably development issues), it got pushed back to this year. Now we have another insider, known as Revegnus on X, stating that not only is Huawei’s device coming out in Q2 2024, but that Samsung will release its hardware at an earlier date. 

What’s kind of crazy is that the second quarter of any given year begins on April 1. This means Samsung has about a month and a half at the time of this writing to launch its triple fold phone or it’ll miss its self-imposed deadline. Revegnus goes on to say that “from Samsung’s perspective”, it can’t afford to miss out on earning the title of “world’s first”.

Experimental tech

Is Samsung capable of releasing a tri-foldable phone? Maybe. The tech giant has experimented with the technology before. Back during CES 2022, they demonstrated multiple triple-fold concept devices – most notably the Flex S. It’s a multi-hinged smartphone able to fold in and out in the shape of the letter “S”. This configuration also seems to be what Huawei is adopting for its hardware. Online reports from early February show Huawei’s phone will open and close in a similar “S” shape.

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It’s unknown exactly how such a display will work. Tom’s Guide in its report talks about a recently unearthed Samsung patent revealing their phone will have “sensors in the hinges”. These components will allow it to be aware of the display’s state at all times, resulting in content only appearing on screens "in active use”.

Analysis: It pays to be the first

Going back to Tom’s Guide, they bring up an interesting point on how triple-fold mobile devices could have a big impact on the smartphone industry. 

Huawei is a massive brand in much of the world. Releasing a tri-foldable first would give the company a huge edge over rivals by establishing a brand new hardware standard others will rush to copy. Huawei's global reach, though, is kneecapped by the fact it's banned from selling in one of the biggest markets in the world: the United States. Samsung, on the other hand, isn’t fettered. So even if it fails to be “world’s first”, the tech giant could instead opt for being the first in the US, effectively becoming the new standard.

No word on when the next Galaxy Unpacked event will be. Tradition dictates the next one will be in the summer; somewhere “between June and August”, well within Q2 2024. Nothing is scheduled for late February or March. However, things can always change at the last minute. And on that note, be sure to take this information with a grain of salt because even the best insiders get it wrong sometimes

Check out TechRadar's list of the best foldable phones for 2024 if you're in the market to upgrade.

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Cesar Cadenas
Contributor

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.