With most recent smartphone models showing little in the way of true innovation, it might be Samsung that provides the game changer. After LG’s modular G5, that is.
The South Korean tech chaebol is expected to release a new phablet next year that serves as 5-inch phone when shut and 7-inch tablet when open, the Korean news site ETNews reports. Dubbed Project Valley, it is now expected to debut at the next Mobile World Congress – but could drop earlier.
Evidence lies in the company’s new patent application, published on Wednesday. The application shows the new product isn’t going to be the flip phone we’ve all had, but a single large display that can be folded in half – a significant development on its line of curved phones.
In January this year, Samsung confirmed it was seeing good progress with foldable displays, but did not suggest a timeline for market launch.
“Development of foldable OLED is taking place according to our plan. We are planning on mass production and release of this product by discussing with our partners,” Lee Chang-hoon, Director of Samsung Display, said in January.
Samsung has reportedly invested in several technologies that are needed to build foldable smartphones. “Although mass production cannot be concluded hastily since Samsung Electronics still has few other major tasks to complete, I’ve heard that Samsung Electronics had made considerable amount of results in the time being,” ETN quoted an industry insider familiar with the development of the Samsung’s foldable smartphone as saying.
However, the development of curved, flexible and foldable displays has been beset with delays. Samsung first presented its vision of foldable devices three years ago, and up until now we’ve only seen a number of tantalising patents showing a device that could be a foldable device known by the Project Valley codename.
As for internal specs, previous rumours have suggested that the company is testing both Snapdragon 620 and 820 for its Project Valley smartphone, while RAM will be 3GB.