March 7, 2019
Samsung Galaxy Fold Could Be Followed By Two More Foldable Phones, 'Bloomberg' Reports

The Samsung Galaxy Fold won't be out in stores until late next month, but rumors are already suggesting that the South Korean tech giant has not just one, but another two foldable devices due for release in the near future.

In a report published Wednesday, Bloomberg wrote that Samsung's upcoming foldable phones include a "clamshell-like" handset that folds from top to bottom, as well as a device that folds outward in a similar way to the recently unveiled Huawei Mate X. The outlet's sources, who declined to be identified due to the confidential nature of the matter, added that the former device comes with a second display on the outside, though it may ultimately be removed, depending on customer feedback on the Galaxy Fold's similar screen setup. This phone, the report added, could be announced as soon as late this year or early 2020.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg's sources noted that the latter, "outfolding" phone already exists in prototype form, as it was once under consideration to be unveiled as Samsung's first foldable phone. This device is expected to be slimmer than the clamshell-like handset because it doesn't come with an extra screen, but will likely arrive after the vertically folding phone's debut. No prospective timelines were disclosed for the second device's announcement.

Despite the intriguing prospect of Samsung's Galaxy Fold eventually being joined by two new foldable phones, the company appears to be focusing mainly on making the current device's display more durable by eliminating a specific flaw. Per Bloomberg, the flaw begins to appear once the Galaxy Fold has been folded about 10,000 times, which could force Samsung to offer free screen replacements once the handset has been released to the public.

As pointed out by BGR, the aforementioned screen imperfection could be a huge issue for Galaxy Fold buyers, considering the fact that it sells for $1,980, or about twice as much as the average flagship-level phone, and Samsung's previous claims that the device could be folded about 200,000 times. Assuming the handset is folded between 10 and 100 times a day, this could mean that the crease in question would appear "in less than a year of extensive use," the outlet added.

Technical issues aside, Samsung is just one of several companies that are working on foldable smartphones in an effort to "gain an edge" over Apple in a smartphone market suffering from saturation and softer sales figures, Bloomberg wrote. With these handsets representing a fairly new segment of the smartphone market, IDC vice president of devices research Bryan Ma told Bloomberg that many upcoming foldable designs "won't be successful," though such failures could also serve as learning experiences for foldable smartphone makers.