The concept of foldable smartphones is nothing new -- as a matter of fact, some of the world’s biggest phone makers, like Samsung and LG, have been reported to be exploring the idea as early as 2014 (Samsung even published a patent a year ago). Fast forwarding to 2017, one can say that there have been some significant progress, with ZTE perhaps claiming to be the first to release a high profile folding handset with its Axon M, unveiled just a little more than a month ago and slated for release within the year not only in the United States, but also in other major markets such as Europe and Japan.
Samsung, widely considered as the number one phone maker in the planet, may not be far behind. A smartphone with a model number of SM-G888N0 is listed in the company’s South Korea website. This model number happens to be the same one linked to the Galaxy X, Samsung’s rumored foldable smartphone. Four months ago, a device bearing that model number had received its Bluetooth certification, and back in May earlier this year, that model number was spotted on a Samsung device that surfaced at the Wi-Fi Alliance.
As we head into the busy holiday shopping season, phone makers are now are putting most of their attention to maximizing profits, as opposed to launching new smartphone offerings. With that line of thinking, it is quite possible that the earliest we could see a new foldable handset from Samsung make its debut will be in January of next year, just in time for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), or perhaps in the following month, during the Mobile World Congress (MWC). It bears noting though the South Korean mobile manufacturer usually unveils its new Galaxy S flagship offering within the first three months of any given year, so Samsung will have to time the debut of its foldable device just right.
A recent report published by Forbes interestingly contends that the N0 on the model number might be an indication that the device will only be launched in Samsung’s home country, South Korea. The company has always had a habit of releasing, shall we say, experimental devices first in South Korea before expanding the launch (depending on the demand, of course). Samsung could employ this approach for its rumored Galaxy X. Still, it goes without saying that everybody would still want to check out the world’s biggest smartphone vendor’s take on the whole foldable smartphone concept, limited release or not.
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