Fresh off the unveiling of its new Galaxy Note 8 last month, Samsung says it’s now aiming to introduce a foldable phone in 2018, reports the Associated Press. The phone would feature a bendable display and would be released under the company’s flagship Galaxy Note line. Dongjin Koh, president of mobile business at Samsung told reporters at a news conference in South Korea there are still hurdles to overcome and release would be pushed back if they’re not resolved.
It’s clear the company is still perfecting the technology while infinity displays (which use flexible OLED panels to bend around the edge of a smartphone) remain popular and its flagship phones are still selling like hotcakes. “When we can overcome some problems for sure, we will launch the product,” said Koh. “We are digging thoroughly into several issues we must overcome, as we don’t want to just make a few, sell a few and be done. We want to hear that Samsung made a very good product,” Koh said. “We have a plan to adopt a foldable display in our roadmap.”
This is the first time Samsung has publicly spoken about plans for a foldable phone, despite rumors around the release of one that have been swirling for many years. Samsung reportedly produced a number of dual-screen smartphones made up of two OLED displays joined by a hinge this year to test the promise and capabilities of a foldable device.
Samsung unveiled a bendable AMOLED display prototype back in 2012 named Youm, and last year, it applied for a patent for a foldable phone that bends like a flip-phone handset. Other companies have also sought to produce bendable devices, with Lenovo revealing prototype phones in 2016 that bend around a user’s wrist and a tablet that folds in half.