Samsung to make 1m foldable phones

By BLOOMBERG

SEOUL • Samsung Electronics Co will roll out its foldable phone in the first half of next year (1H19) and produce at least one million of them, Yonhap News reported, citing the company’s smartphone chief DJ Koh (picture).

The Suwon, South Korea based company gave a glimpse of its foldable-screen phone at a developer conference in San Francisco last Wednesday without providing details on its price, name or release date.

Koh, president of Samsung’s mobile communication business, told reporters after the event that he would launch the device in the 1H19 “no matter what”, Yonhap reported yesterday.

A new version of the foldable phone will be unveiled every year like Samsung’s flagship phones, such as the Galaxy S9. The company may raise the production volume of its foldable devices depending on market reception, Koh was quoted as saying.

Samsung shipped more than 300 million phones in total last year, according to TrendForce, a market research firm.

The world’s biggest phone maker has set up a team with Google to develop a software interface for the foldable phone since Koh met with Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, two months ago, he was quoted as saying.

Samsung and other smartphone makers are trying to revitalise slowing demand for smartphones as users around the world wait longer to upgrade their devices.

Samsung plans to release a cheaper version of its flagship Galaxy S10 next year to appeal to consumers growing more cost-conscious, Bloomberg News reported last month.

5G also provides Samsung with a “big opportunity” next year, Koh said, as the plan to make the fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks available has been moved up by nine months, according to Yonhap.