Samsung has been quite open about its plans to launch a foldable phone as soon as possible, and some rumors even point to a launch by the end of 2018. That might sound optimistic, but even Samsung’s latest financial results suggest that's not out of the question.
At the very least, production of the phone – currently known as the Samsung Galaxy X – might well start this year, as in its Q4 2017 earnings statement Samsung has mentioned that in 2018 its display panel business will "reinforce its competencies in new applications such as foldable [displays]."
That doesn't necessarily mean the handset will be ready to launch this year, but it's possible, and it sounds like it would be by 2019 at the very least.
A foldable future
In fact, in the same statement Samsung notes that "as for the Mobile business, Samsung will continue its efforts to differentiate its smartphones by adopting cutting-edge technologies, such as foldable OLED displays." Though the time frame for that is less clear.
Of course, any plans Samsung has could be held up by issues with the technology, indeed in his latest comment on a folding phone, Samsung's mobile chief Koh Dong-jin said that "there are still durability issues that we need to address."
During the Q&A portion of the earnings call, Samsung stated that in regards to releasing a smartphone with a flexible OLED display, it wants to make sure that it delivers "the level of execution and completeness" to satisfy consumers' high expectations for the product.
Despite a few roadblocks, it's really starting to sound like the wait for the Samsung Galaxy X might almost be over.
- Before the Galaxy X we'll see the Samsung Galaxy S9