According to ETNews, Samsung set up a private exhibition room at CES 2018 in order to introduce its foldable Smartphones for only VIP customers and shared specifications and release date of foldable Smartphones. It is predicted that Samsung Electronics is working on a final stage of development in order to start mass-producing foldable Smartphones at the end of this year.
According to multiple representatives who visited CES 2018 on the 10th (U.S. time), Samsung Display set up a private exhibition room and introduced foldable Smartphones for specific customers. Samsung also introduced foldable Smartphones last year at MWC 2017 by setting up a private exhibition room for its major customers. It is heard that foldable Smartphones introduced at CES 2018 are models that are upgraded from models that were introduced at MWC 2017.
It is confirmed that Samsung Display announced its goal which is to mass-produce foldable panels at the end of this year.
“Samsung Display developed 7.3-inch foldable panels and it announced that it is planning to start mass-producing them at the end of this year.” said a representative. (Reference: First and fifth pages of The Electronic Times issued on 1/9/18)
Foldable Smartphones introduced by Samsung are the latest version and they are equipped with 7.3-inch flexible OLED panels.
Just like models that were introduced at MWC 2017, Samsung introduced both in-folding Smartphones and out-folding Smartphones at CES 2018. In-folding and out-folding Smartphones implemented curvature of 1R and 5R respectively.
Highest possible curvature, which indicates amount of curvedness, is 1R (0.1mm). 1R indicates amount of curvedness of a circle with a radius of 1mm. Foldable Smartphone that is folded looks like a sheet of paper and there is almost zero room in between when it is folded. As value of curvature goes down, thickness of a Smartphones becomes thinner.
Industries see in-folding and out-folding as first and second generations respectively. Although level of difficulty in implementing curvature is higher for in-folding, there are many things to consider additionally when it comes to out-folding Smartphones such as minimizing and preventing bent part of an out-folding Smartphone from breakage due to impact that comes from when the Smartphone is dropped to the floor.
In-folding technology had to deal with a problem where strength of the part that is folded becomes weaker. Samsung Display has been working on development of in-folding panel with a goal of making this panel so durable that it will not have any problems even if it is folded and unfolded repeatedly for more than 200,000 times.
It was heard recently within industries that Samsung Electronics is planning to mass-produce its first foldable Smartphones in November by using Samsung Display’s in-folding panels.
It seems that Samsung Display is observing reactions from overall markets by introducing foldable panels to foreign Smartphone customers and not just Samsung Electronics. Just as Apple is also preparing for foldable Smartphones, there is a possible scenario that Samsung Display is preparing to supply foldable panels to Apple for its next-generation iPhones.
“While Samsung was strict about who it was going to show foldable Smartphones to at MWC 2017, it selected wide various customers at CES 2018 in order to observe reactions from various customers.” said a representative for a different industry. “Because development process has made significant process, Samsung has increased level of anticipations towards possible release of foldable Smartphones during the second half of this year.”