A Samsung official has reiterated that the company intends to unveil its long-awaited foldable phone at its developer conference which is scheduled to hold today 7th of November , with the intention of showing the phone to developers and the public to gather early feedback. The Samsung foldable smartphone will be called Galaxy F and will carry the model number SM-F900U.
Reports of Samsung working on a foldable phone date back years and years, but over the past few months things have been heating up in this space. Samsung’s CEO has even said that the device is coming this year, and a previous report pointed to the Samsung Developer Conference as our first look at the device.
Although the unnamed official admitted that this was a “different approach” to the consumer-facing launches the company has favored for its flagship handsets, they said it was necessary since “the foldable phone is a completely new concept in terms of design and user experience.”
Since the announcement is aimed at developers who’ll have to redesign their apps if they want them to make the most out of a folding display, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a consumer-ready device at the developer keynote. Instead we’re expecting to see its user interface alongside the first detailed images of the phone. It should be enough information to start developing apps.
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The announcement will come at the end of what has been a challenging year for the mobile division of the South Korean firm. Its global smartphone market share lost an estimated 13 percent in the last quarter (compared to the year earlier) as its recent product line continued to underperform devices from Huawei and Xiaomi. Samsung’s latest earnings report suggests that it hopes foldable screens could be a means of strengthening its competitiveness. 2019 also marks the 10th anniversary of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, so the time is certainly right for Samsung to unveil a differentiated design.
We don’t yet know exactly what the “design and user experience” of the foldable phone will be, short of it having the a tablet-sized screen that can be folded to fit in your pocket, possibly with a second display on the outside for use as a phone. It’s also unclear if the device is meant to be used primarily in landscape or portrait orientations. An early concept trailer showed a dual-display phone with a large screen that can be folded inwards to make it more compact. In contrast, the recently announced Royole FlexPai has a single screen that folds the opposite way so its touchscreen is still usable while folded.
The foldable is one of the few things to expect in today’s conference. The Korean giant will also reveal more information about Galaxy Home, its AI speaker with Bixby and many other services and applications.
Samsung’s developer conference is due to start at 1PM ET / 10AM PT on November 7th, with Samsung CEO DJ Koh hosting the keynote address.