Samsung plans to launch a foldable smartphone this year

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Your new iPhone probably won't be this bendy, but it will be incredibly durable.
It's "bendgate" all over again!
Photo: DVICE

Apple may be releasing its biggest iPhone refresh since 2014 this year, but Samsung isn’t taking the news lying down.

Instead, it’s apparently planning to unveil foldable smartphones in the third quarter of 2017, according to sources familiar with its plans.

Foldable phones have long been a “thing” in tech R&D, particularly as phablets have gained ground. The idea is that a foldable, flexible smartphone could unfold into a larger tablet-like display when needed. Samsung’s proposed device will reportedly fold out into a 7-inch tablet.

“Samsung is expected to roll out more than 100,000 units of fold-out devices in the third quarter,” a source told The Korea Herald. It’s not known exactly when this would take place, however, and Samsung is said to be waiting until after an executive reshuffle takes place in February or March.

A previous report claimed that Samsung’s main challenge was making materials that would prove durable, although it seems to have resolved this issue.

Today’s report makes an interesting observation by pointing out that LG is also working on a bendable phone, and is actually ahead of Samsung in terms of its technology.

LG, too, will roll out 100,000 devices this year — although unlike Samsung, which plans to use the tech for its own flagship devices, “LG may use the technology for other global clients such as Apple or Huawei.”

Apple’s been rumored to be investigating flexible iPhones for years now — but we’re unlikely to see such a handset in 2017. Hopefully that means that Samsung can learn from its Note 7 debacle, and only roll out its next-gen technology once it’s 100 percent ready for primetime!

Are you excited at the prospect of bendable smartphones? Leave your comments below.