Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Samsung’s working on phone with a folding screen. And it’s arriving soonish. You’d be entirely forgiven if you rolled your eyes at that one, or at the very least took the whole thing with a sufficiently massive grain of salt.
This particular rumor has been floating around for about as long as Samsung’s been in the smartphone game, but The Wall Street Journal appears to have it on good authority that such a device may finally come to fruition early next year.
What’s more, those “people familiar with the matter” say the seven-inch handset is currently sporting the codename “Winner,” which sounds a bit like something Donald Trump would nickname his smartphone.
The design sounds more like a classic clamshell handset than the novel — though not particularly practical — dual-screen ZTE Axon M that arrived late last year. To be fair, that was more two screens fused together, rather than a “folding screen.” When the Samsung device is closed, on the other hand, it apparently sports cameras on either side and “a small display bar on the front.”
The phone will reportedly be released in smaller quantities than most Samsung smartphones/tablets at first, with wider availability later in the year. A lower than expected demand for the company’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S9 is said to be a driving force behind Samsung’s push to get this product out the door.
The category has long been a white whale for a smartphone industry intent on cramming the largest screen into the smallest footprint possible. The ability to fold it up and shove it in a pocket would certainly be a way to accomplish this. There have, however, been all manner of technical constraints along the way.
A representative for the company offered TechCrunch a fairly boilerplate statement in response to the rumors, “ “It is Samsung’s policy to not comment on rumors and speculation.”