As CES 2019 continues Las Vegas, tech companies big and small are pitching their product concepts to audiences from all over the world. But one pitch was limited to a much smaller audience – Samsung announced their first folding phone in a closed-door meeting with high-level tech executives. According to sources, the new device will go by the name of Samsung Galaxy X. News outlet The Investor broke the news after hearing from someone present at the meeting.
Samsung officially unveiled their first foldable phone in November 2018 at the Samsung 2018 developer conference. But they did not release any technical details of the future model. All they revealed was the main screen along with a demo of the One UI that would run with Android. Since then, rumors have been circulating about the Samsung foldable phone with potential names like Galaxy Flex, Galaxy Fold, etc.
The Reveal at CES
Now we know the phone will go by the simple moniker Samsung Galaxy X.
However, Samsung is still shying away from giving details, including a specific release date. They did bring a prototype to the CES but only revealed it to clients and investors. They are still optimizing the hardware and software of the phone before it can be made ready for commercial release (or viewing). The main issue regarding the Galaxy X is the likelihood of a crease forming in the flexible screen after folding. The screens will be delicate, and phone droppers everywhere know that that will have to be rectified before it’s a viable product. But rumor has it that Samsung is expecting to solve these problems and start mass production of this phone in the first half of 2019.
A high ranking executive from one of Samsung’s clients told The Korea Herald:
“When unfolded, Samsung’s foldable phone does not show any crease indicating it had been bent. However, completely folding the device will lead to breakage. For this reason, Samsung is testing the device so that the sides remain slightly lifted when folded. The prototype seen today leaves a crease mark when being folded, but this issue will be fixed in the finalized version.”
Analysts believe that Samsung is likely to target men in their 40s as their prime audience. The reason behind this selectivity is the idea that men of this age are familiar with the flip phones of the 90s. Samsung also apparently believes that “men in their 40s” are the group most likely to shell out the cash for a likely expensive foldable phone.
An executive at Samsung’s CES booth also told The Korea Herald that the phone is made for multitasking and would be quite useful for people who “own both a smartphone and tablet.”
Competition at the CES
While Samsung puts the finishing touches on its foldable phone, Royole has already launched theirs at the CES. The foldable ‘Royole FlexPai’ screen leaves no creases or marks at the folding point. It is also already available for purchase in China. Foldable phones by other companies like LG are also poised to increase competition for the Galaxy X.
As it gears up for future release, Samsung’s device will need to be that much better if it wants to reign supreme.