Samsung says its foldable phone is also a tablet that fits in your pocket

DJ Koh, CEO of Samsung’s mobile business, has described how the foldable phone is expected to work.

Samsung’s mobile head, DJ Koh, has given us a first glimpse of what the company’s long-awaited foldable phone will be like to use. Speaking to CNET, the executive said that while unfolded the device will offer the functionality of a tablet complete with multi-tasking and a big screen, but can then be folded into a portable phone.

The description matches a cringeworthy concept trailer the company released back in 2013 which showed a device with one large internal screen combined with a second smaller screen on the outside for use when folded.

Koh has previously suggested that the handset could be unveiled at Samsung’s developer conference where he will be delivering the opening keynote on November 7th. The executive said it would have to reach his standards before it could be announced.

”When we deliver a foldable phone, it has to be really meaningful to our customer,” Koh told CNET yesterday, “If the user experience is not up to my standard, I don’t want to deliver those kind of products.” Although he expected the hybrid device to initially find a niche market, he said that he believed it would expand, and that “we do need a foldable phone.”

Numerous manufacturers have stepped up with their own efforts to produce a foldable smartphone. Huawei reportedly plans to release a foldable handset in limited quantities in 2019, and Lenovo and Xiaomi have also teased their own prototypes. Finally, LG has also invested big in flexible displays, and earlier this year showed off a concept TV that rolled up into a box when not in use.

A developer conference seems like an odd venue for Samsung to announce a product that’s been anticipated for so many years. It suggests that we could see a prototype demonstrated, with the retail launch coming later, after developers have had time to optimize apps for the new displays. And with the 10th anniversary of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones coming next year, the time is certainly right for Samsung to unveil a cutting-edge design.

Comments

This sounds like it could be great, but has to be executed in an almost perfect manner.
We’ve come to a point where phone screens are really great, bezels are thin and phones are thin. The masses won’t accept a lot of compromise on these things when it comes to something new.

Not sure about that. If you have the benefit of such big screen and (relatively) small factor, I think many people could forgive thicker device or bezels. It would still be worthy imho.

tell that to kyocera echo

The Echo was made in a time when chipsets could barely run Android on one screen let alone two.

Consumers are used to compromising. We’ve lost audio jacks, no one will give us batteries that last multiple days, glass backs so there’s one more thing to break and now there’s the notch no one asked for. As long as people think it’s cool or it’s trendy, it’ll sell.

You’ll use what we give you.-Love, The cellphone cartels.

That’s very on point

That’s because everyone did all those things. You have no other choice. If a compromised folding phone came out, you still have stacks of choices for refined regular slate phones.

Everyone "didn’t do all those things" over midnight. It took just one company to do it, and watch if costumers settled for it’s drawbacks to show other companies they can also save some costs by compromising. When the iPhone eliminated the headphone jack, there were dozens of phones still with it, but users settled for no jack. Ken’s point still stands.

They didn’t settle. They realized that they didn’t need the headphone jack .

You don’t need a flagship device either, but people still buy them because either they settle for a flagship without a feature they want, or just don’t buy that year’s flagship. This is specially hard for users in Apple’s walled garden, where if you don’t like their options, tough luck.

You either settle for their products, or pick the alternative which for many users that just isn’t an option.

As a developer myself, I don’t need a Macbook Pro, but Linux just doesn’t cut it for me, and Windows is terrible for web development. So I have to either settle for all the compromises that come with Apple’s newer Macbook’s, or go else where.

You don’t need a flagship device either, but people still buy them because either they settle for a flagship without a feature they want, or just don’t buy that year’s flagship. This is specially hard for users in Apple’s walled garden, where if you don’t like their options, tough luck.

You either settle for their products, or pick the alternative which for many users that just isn’t an option.

As a developer myself, I don’t need a Macbook Pro, but Linux just doesn’t cut it for me, and Windows is terrible for web development. So I have to either settle for all the compromises that come with Apple’s newer Macbook’s, or go else where.

Just get a pair of wireless headphones already. They’re like $10.

I understand that wireless audio is inferior but it is not a deal breaker for me. Most times I am listening to radio in my car over bluetooth.

People go for flagships. Doesn’t matter if there are a bunch of low end phones with jacks, people will buy what the flagships are, compromises and all.

And what choice do you think Apple users had? Most will not switch ecosystems. Once you are in to the lock in, you are in for life.

His point is that the market was maturing as these features were coming out, whereas Samsung is attempting to bring this new product into a fully matured smartphone market. The compromises brought by this groundbreaking product might be too much to bear compared to the excellent slates we have now.

The battery bit is more complicated than that. Those devices that lasted multiple days on a single charge weren’t even remotely close in compute power. The atenna’s on those devices were often the most power-hungry components in the whole phone. The displays were very tiny, we’re talking a few hundred pixels worth of resolution. Not multiple 1000s. I don’t think its a fair criticism to say that we’re being robbed of battery life, since the device itself is doing magnitudes more in increasingly smaller form factors (in terms of volume).

I get it though, we’ve made a lot of trade-offs over the years to get the kinds of devices we have today. I don’t think this is just blind compromise from consumers though. If anything, it’s a clearer indicator of what customers are demanding. Many thought people would wait for the iPhone XR. Verizon sells out of their most expensive XS Max models the fastest. I think customers are driving all these changes and not all of it is compromise.

Not even that. The main reason that phones don’t last as long is simply people use them more. No one used their phones for hours and hours each day.

It’s a miracle that batteries last as long as they do given we can use them for hours a day, and as you said they have giant ass screens which are incredibly bright and high res.

That is a good point. Don’t know why that didn’t come to mind. Usage is huge factor!

You make a good point. I think the current compromises are just small enough that they don’t hit the point that users revolt. We don’t know what Samsung has in the pipeline and it remains to be seen what compromises will be asked of the public.

This world is full of people with different preferences. Do no paint us all with that narrow brush of yours.

That’s an insanely entitled response. I wasn’t even talking about my personal preference here. I personally want more innovation, and love this approach. I was simply talking about the general mass from a sales perspective. I’m sorry you can only think in your own "narrow" approach.

Are claiming to be a person who will take a compromised experience for the sake of early access? I’m glad your are here, but you are in no way a majority.

Yeah cos everyone hung back when the first iPhone was released..

They did. It wasn’t until the 3GS and the 4 when the compromises were ironed out that the iPhone blew up.

The only people who lined up at stores where the Apple apologists. My first experience with one was the 4S

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