Samsung's foldable smartphone could launch this year

More details of the flexible device will probably surface at Samsung's Developer Conference in November

Samsung's much-hyped foldable smartphone may launch later this year, the company's DJ Koh, CEO of its mobile division has revealed.

The mobile chief said the company's customers are eagerly awaiting the launch and that has hurried up its development.

However, Koh hasn't revealed much about the innovation, only that it will be slightly different to its latest mobile designs and it will attempt to move away from the concept that large phones are morphing into tablets.

"You can use most of the uses ... on foldable status," Koh explained at the IFA electronics show in Berlin. "But when you need to browse or see something, then you may need to unfold it. But even unfolded, what kind of benefit does that give compared to the tablet? If the unfolded experience is the same as the tablet, why would they (consumers) buy it?"

He said this thinking of how to do things differently is key in its overall mobile strategy - not just this foldable device, but smartphones and tablets going forwards.

"Every device, every feature, every innovation should have a meaningful message to our end customer. So when the end customer uses it, (they think) 'wow, this is the reason Samsung made it'."

Although there's a lot of speculation that the foldable design won't be particularly different to Samsung's legacy clamshell phones, it's unlikely this device will rely on a hinge to make it fold in half - instead, it will utilise bendable glass or a similar robust material that can bend without breaking.

Koh didn't say when exactly the foldable phone will launch, but said more iformation is likely to be revealed at the Samsung Developer Conference in November in San Francisco.

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