After being one of the first out of the gate with a folding smartphone, Samsung is trying to entice competitors — including Apple — to join the foldable future.
Samsung, which debuted the Galaxy Fold at its Unpacked event on Feb. 20, has reportedly sent some foldable display panel samples to Cupertino in hopes of attracting Apple as a client.
We know through patent filings Apple has a foldable iPhone on the drawing board. However, rumors suggest Apple is not ready to launch such a handset with this year’s lineup of new products.
Samsung Display sent 7.2-inch foldable samples to Apple, Google, Oppo and Huawei (which just announced its own foldable phone, the Mate X). This is according to an unconfirmed report from Pocketnow.
Plastic screens like the ones Samsung is producing won’t be the only option forever. Corning is working on flexible glass panels that could be used in future phones.
The lure of folding phones
Smartphone makers are betting customers will see a foldable handset attractive because it offers a phone and tablet in one device.
The form factor is new and the prices, for now, are likely to keep most consumers away. The Galaxy Fold is currently the cheapest at $1,980. Huawei’s Mate X $2,600 price tag makes the iPhone XS Max look like a budget device.
We have yet to see how foldable smartphones hold up under extended daily use. Apple, per its old reliable playbook, will wait to see what works and what doesn’t. Then Cupertino will go to market with something it believes will be better.
According to Pocketnow, Samsung Display can produce 200,000 foldable screens per month and is looking for other clients because it anticipates low consumer demand for the Fold initially.