Any information about Samsung Galaxy Note 8’s release date has been much-awaited as everybody is excited to see what’s coming next following the Note 7’s demise. Although the fiasco put the Note brand in a bad light, many are still looking forward to how Samsung plans to revive the line. However, the upcoming phablet may take a backseat in light of the planned 2017 release of a foldable smartphone prototype.
Some reports speculate the Galaxy Note 8’s release date to be earlier this year, but evidences point to the contrary. First off, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is set to be revealed and launch much later than usual, which could screw with the flagship phablet’s release. Second, the releases of the Note and the foldable smartphone will likely be spaced apart to give enough time for each product to shine.
ET News indicates that a prototype of Samsung’s foldable smartphone, dubbed the Galaxy X, will be launched in the third quarter of the year (July to September). It encroaches on the traditional launch window of the Galaxy Note 8, so there is a high chance that the phablet’s reveal may take a blow.
According to the report, stocks of the Galaxy X will be limited as mass production may not begin until 2018. Samsung will test the waters first to see if the world is ready for a foldable smartphone. Only 100,000 units or fewer may be released this year, and depending on the device’s performance and the market’s interest, it may be available worldwide in larger quantities the following year.
Nonetheless, the world will likely be fixated on it for a while and if Samsung manages to reveal it ahead of competitors – such as LG and Microsoft – it will need some time to bask in the spotlight before the Galaxy Note 8 enters the scene.
While the Note 8 is mysterious and intriguing, the Galaxy X is a new concept that might shape the future of the mobile industry. There are several patents out there that could more or less depict what the actual product will look like, but nothing is set in stone yet.
A report from Digital Trends shows some foldable phone patents filed by Samsung. In one of them, a smartphone with a display that “spills” into the bottom edge can be folded in. Once folded, only the display at the bottom and the rear camera can be seen.
Another Samsung patent also shows a screen on the edge of a folded device that would display apps or user profiles. Users can click an app so that the device will be open once unfolded or they can click a password-protected profile to access the information within. This patent shows a device that more closely resembles a tablet in size when unfolded.
There might also not be one but two Samsung foldable devices. One of which is reportedly a hybrid between a smartphone and tablet (no, it is not a phablet). When folded, a user can use the device as a normal 5-inch smartphone, but when there’s a need for a bigger display, it can be unfolded to an 8-inch tablet.
Foldable devices will likely take the stage in 2017, so the release date of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is getting sketchier. Traditionally, a new Note is introduced August or September, but if the Galaxy X takes that spot, there’s no telling when the Note 8 will be unveiled.
However, there is a possibility that Samsung will release both devices side by side. Since it looks like each one has a clear distinction from the other, the Galaxy Note 8 and a foldable smartphone can be revealed at the same time.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]