Despite the fact that Samsung’s off-again, on-again Galaxy Fold faces an uncertain future (though latest reports indicate that the company plans to release the device to consumers within the next few months), a new report suggests that the South Korean chaebol is now preparing to unveil an outwardly-folding device similar to Huawei’s Mate X.
If that might sound like banal news, it most certainly isn’t. For the uninitiated, Samsung was forced to scupper its Galaxy Fold launch plans thanks to a defect where debris could slide underneath an exposed portion of the display and cause it to fail with catastrophic results.
That, for what of a better phrase, might well be the penalty for what’s being called an ‘innie’ – an inwardly foldable phone or tablet. Huawei’s Mate X, unlike the Galaxy Fold, ultimately folds outward – leaving a portion of the display visible at all times.
According to a report from The Investor, Samsung is now apparently preparing a ‘range’ of foldable devices which will include outwardly folding phones. What isn’t clear at present is whether this is an indication that the firm has abandoned its initial design, and will instead opt to produce handsets more akin to what we’ve seen from Huawei thus far.
What is clear, however, is that Samsung plans to pip Huawei to the post – the South Korean company apparently has aspirations to unveil its outwardly-folding phones before Huawei officially launches the Mate X later this year.
Given the trade frictions Huawei faces as a result of economic scuttle between Washington and Beijing, it’s likely that Samsung might be able to use some of the chaos to its benefit.
While we’ve both seen ‘innie’ and ‘outie’ designs, what we’ve yet to see is whether other firms – such as Motorola – will be able to reach the market with foldable smartphones in a clamshell format in the vein of the Motorola Razr.