Samsung Electronics is plans to release the world’s first foldable display smartphone this week.
The South Korean tech giant is expected will roll out an initial volume of between 20,000 and 30,000 units of the Galaxy Fold in the Korean market this Friday.
The timing seems to be in line with the company’s plan to publicly exhibit hands-on versions of the foldable gadget for the first time at the IFA 2019 trade show, which kicks off this Friday in Berlin.
The retail price of the Galaxy Fold in Korean currency has been set at around 2.39 million won ($1,965), according to some news reports.
The Fold will come in four colors: black, silver, green and blue. The green and blue versions will have two additional color choices for their hinge between silver and gold.
Its global launch seems imminent too. Samsung has opened up "pre-registration" once again in the US and UK.
Following the poor reviews that the initial test handsets received, Samsung went back to the drawing board and made some important changes to Galaxy Fold. The screen protector and hinge have been improved, and anyone parting with the thick end of $2,000 will be hoping that these changes will prevent the screen issues experienced by early testers.
Second Foldable flip-phone?
Meanwhile, Samsung is reportedly seeking to make its second bendable smartphone more affordable and thinner than this year’s Galaxy Fold.
The company's second foldable device is expected early next year, according to Bloomberg. This device folds down into a compact-sized square. It comes with a 6.7-inch inner display that shrinks to a pocketable square when it’s folded inward like a clamshell, according to the report.
The new foldable phone is said to have a hole-punch selfie camera at the top of the inner display, just as on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. On the outside, it will have two cameras that face the rear when the phone is open or the front when it’s flipped closed.
Samsung is testing the use of Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) for the inner display of its next foldable, which would measure in at only 3% the thickness of the glass conventionally used to protect smartphone displays. At the same time, the company will want to ensure the durability of its foldable devices and avoid any repeat of the Galaxy Fold debacle.
The company declined to comment.
Besides Samsung, Huawei Technologies Co. has had to delay its Mate X and Royole Corp. has left reviewers unimpressed with its FlexPai, and Samsung had an embarrassing design defect that forced it to push back the Galaxy Fold’s release. Rivals Xiaomi Corp. and Oppo have only released teasers so far.