Samsung’s not in a hurry to show off its foldable phones to the world anytime soon, striking a blow for past speculation which had pointed towards an IFA 2017 unveiling. The handsets have reportedly been delayed to 2019, much later than expected.
Samsung Display’s principal engineer Kim Tae-woong delivered this bit of bad news at the Display TechSalon being held in Seoul, South Korea. He said that the company’s foldable phones may not be commercialized until 2019 since bezel-free screens are selling very well at the moment.
It follows that Samsung has enough time now to work on bendable panels instead of tackling both in a short space of time. This breathing space is important since there are apparently still technical challenges to be addressed with regards to the new technology.
HI Investment and Securities analyst Chung Won-seok later predicted the same 2019 timeline at the event. He added that there was no need to sell radical new hardware since Samsung is already commanding 20% of operating profits from its bezel-free panels.
His theory goes that the foldable displays will rise as Samsung’s next card when the demand for these borderless screens dies down. The brand will likely start off with a smartphone which can bend once before moving on to a multi-foldable handset that can turn both sides.
The new report is a stark contrast to the previous takes on Samsung’s bendable wonders. It was widely believed that the company was in the final throes of development and would begin producing working prototypes by Q3 2017.