South Korean electronics giant Samsung is reported to be working on a double-folding smartphone to add to its existing portfolio of foldable smartphones, according to a recent report in Nikkei Asia. The foldable smartphone from Samsung, according to the report, could be unveiled as early as the end of this year and would use two hinges to fold into three segments. The smartphone, if launched, will be the third smartphone in Samsung’s foldable lineup after the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Samsung Galaxy Flip. The Nikkei report, citing three sources close to the matter, said that Samsung has filed multiple patents for the double-inched design and that the details of the smartphone are still being finalised. “The design is set to make the unfolded screen aspect ratio be in line with the mainstream ratio of 16:9 or 18:9, so more video games and other apps could run more smoothly with better resolutions on the device,” one of the sources was quoted by Nikkei as saying.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip both have one hinge each. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 has a screen ratio of 25:9, which means that the dual-folding smartphone will be easier for developers to design apps for. The Nikkei report also says that Samsung has set an internal goal to boost its total foldable smartphone shipments to a similar level as that of the Galaxy Note series, exceeding 10 million units annually, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Nikkei. This goal, however, will be subject to market conditions and the state of the semiconductor shortage. The report also cites industry sources as saying that the focus on foldable smartphones is aimed at differentiating its offerings as well as taking advantage of the higher profits. It is possible that Samsung is introducing the new foldable smartphone to ease Galaxy Note users into a transition to a new form factor. Samsung had recently said that it will skip releasing a Galaxy Note smartphone this year, but said that the Galaxy Note series is not going anywhere, at least for now.
By giving more foldable options, Samsung is also throwing more options towards customers, in hopes that they will find one that works for them. However, the launch will depend on whether Samsung can figure out how to navigate the chip shortage that has affected the entire industry, including other sectors. Samsung has been investing heavily in the foldable smartphone space. Being the only brand with multiple foldable devices on offer, Samsung is now bringing another device, with even more folds, indicating at the company’s vision of seeing foldables as the future.